Switching off for Earth Hour

Switching off for Earth Hour

Thursday, 25 March 2021

At 8.30pm on Saturday 27 March, Penrith City Council will be “switching off” in support of Earth Hour.

What started as a local event in Sydney has become a global phenomenon with millions of people across more than 180 different countries now taking part and supporting the Earth Hour initiative.

Penrith Mayor and Sustainability Champion Karen McKeown OAM said the Earth Hour initiative is great a reminder to us all that change starts from the simplest of things.

“Council participates in Earth Hour every year by switching off all non-essential lighting at our facilities. I would encourage everyone in the Penrith community to join us by switching off your lights for one hour as well,” Cr McKeown said.

“This simple act should inspire us to look at our daily lives to see how we can reduce our impact on the environment - we all need to play our part in protecting the environment.”

In its persistent pursuit of sustainable environmental initiatives, Penrith City Council has been working towards reducing its emissions through a range of programs from its electric vehicle, solar panels on Council facilities, LED street lighting and education on energy efficiency.

  • Electric vehicle: Council’s electric vehicle has reached its second anniversary. The car has covered 29,185km and cost just $592 to recharge using 100% certified Greenpower which comes from wind and solar. This has saved an estimated 79.4 tonnes of emissions. Council is investigating more ways it can convert more of its fleet to electric and support more charging stations in the area.
  • Solar on Council facilities: Council is always looking for more opportunities to install more solar panels. Currently there are solar installations on 38 different sites, with a combined capacity of just over 348 kilowatts. In 2019-2020 alone, these saved 344 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. An additional four solar installations are currently being installed this year at Council's Queen St Centre, St Clair Recreation Centre, St Marys Children’s Centre and Ridge Park Hall. These will have a combined capacity of close to 60 kilowatts, which will save an additional 65.5 tonnes (estimated) of greenhouse gas emission each year.
  • LED street lighting: Did you know that street lighting is Council’s biggest source of energy use? That’s why we’ve been working with Endeavour Energy to upgrade some of our older lights with new energy efficient LEDs. The project finished at the end of last year and saw 6,317 lights replaced to LED. We estimate this will save $443,700 a year and reduce emissions by 1,976 tonnes each year too.
  • Solar and energy efficiency workshops: We love sharing our love of solar and saving energy with our community. We regularly hold home solar workshops which have now been attended by over 200 people, and our Empowering Penrith video series is a great way to learn about saving energy and saving money. Click here.

To find out more detail about Earth Hour visit earthhour.org.au

To learn more about local sustainability news, upcoming events and workshops visit penrith.city/sustainability and subscribe to our Sustainability eNewsletter while you are there.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Thursday, 25 March 2021.