||Data sensed by the US Air Force Defence Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) during the years 2000 and 2001 in Brazil were tested as a tool to monitor reduction of nocturnal lighting. This particular timing was examined as the Brazilian population and industry were forced to reduce electric power consumption by 20% during 2001, in relation to 2000, for a period of several months, starting officially on 1 June 2001. Large urban agglomerates were compelled to switch off city lights by at least the same amount. The Distrito Federal (DF), including the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, was one of the primary areas where the government actively sought electric power consumption reductions. Using the DF as a study case, we demonstrate that the mean grey levels derived from averaging DMSP-OLS data acquired over urban centres appear to be a useful index to monitor relative oscillations in energy consumption.