Turn off lights, switch on solar for Earth Hour

Turn off lights, switch on solar for Earth Hour

Australia’s biggest building-mounted solar panel installation adds weight to the City of Sydney’s support for Earth Hour, this year urging people to switch-off their lights and switch to renewable energy.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore called on Sydneysiders to stand up and take on the great challenge of our times.

“We are no longer discussing the threat of climate change – from the heatwaves, floods and fires that gripped our country this summer to the catastrophic storms overseas, we are living with the reality of climate change,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Practical steps are needed – but for government leaders to take action, they need to see you demand it.

“We’re proud to have supported Earth Hour since it started and we’re backing it up with the biggest building mounted solar installation in the country.

“We have installed solar panels on the Sydney Park Pavilion, the Paddington Town Hall and Erskineville Town Hall on the way to 5,500 solar panels on 30 major council buildings including pools, community centres, libraries and depots.”

Earth Hour organisers WWF-Australia are encouraging businesses, schools and households to turn-off lights for an hour at 8.30pm on Saturday, 23 March, and pledge to switch to renewable energy at earthhour.org.au.

“Earth Hour is a reminder that when people work together, amazing things can be achieved and that’s why Earth Hour is mobilising people to take long term action on climate change to protect our environment,” WWF-Australian chief executive officer Dermot O’Gorman said.

The City runs workshops for residents on how to install renewable energy, whether they rent or own, or live in a house or apartment. The next in the series will be at Redfern Town Hall on April 15 from 6pm to 8pm. http://www.greenvillages.com.au/workshops/demystifying-renewables-your-options-to-make-the-switch/

The City’s $4.3 million solar panel installation will produce a total electrical capacity of 1.25 megawatts (MW) and is expected to produce 2,000,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity a year, or 12.5 per cent of the total electricity used by the buildings. The program will reduce the City’s annual carbon pollution by 2,250 tonnes.

The City will turn non-essential lights in all council properties for Earth Hour. Information sheets on how to install solar panels or solar hot water systems are available here: http://www.greenvillages.com.au/assets/6159-Update-Solar-Fact-Sheet-2013-A4-LR.pdf?bb7ee4

For more information and images contact:

City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jon Walter, phone 02 9265 9753, 0406 868 359 or email jwalter@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore contact:

Matt Levinson 0427 044 768 or mlevinson@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au