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Council continues to save power

Council continues to save power

North Shore City Council is continuing to make power savings within its own buildings and facilities, reducing the time street lights are on, and encouraging its own staff to save at home.

A council team responsible for reviewing power use has already achieved significant savings, and is hoping to come close to the 10 per cent target requested by the government.

And with street lighting amounting to about 30 per cent of the city's total power bill, it has also been working with power suppliers and contractors in an effort to make further savings.

Street lights are mostly controlled by light sensors which turn the lights off or on in the morning and evening depending on daylight conditions.

These will now be manually over-ridden to save about an hour's worth of power each night without compromising safety.

Road maintenance manager Chris Glanfield says there will be local variations in the times that certain street lights are on, according to the control mechanisms and conditions at the time.

UnitedNetworks Ltd, which provides the city's power, will take the prevailing conditions into account when controlling the lights and will make daily adjustments.

Motorists are warned to be alert and look for bikes and pedestrians, and to switch their vehicles' lights on earlier.

"Our power savings team has carefully considered the other factors involved in the timing of street lighting, such as vehicle and pedestrian safety, and crime prevention. We don't think these considerations have been greatly compromised, and we have decided in favour in making these savings in the national interest," says Mr Glanfield.

Other initiatives already taken are already contributing to the council's savings. They include cutting the number of lifts operating in its head office from three to two, reminding staff to turn off lights, computers, printers and other machinery when they're not in use, and checking that hot water cylinders aren't set at too high a temperature.

The air conditioning unit in the head office building now operates for one hour less each day, and lighting levels in many parts of the building have been reduced, within safety limits.

The council's power saving team will regularly review progress and will consider all practical means of saving power.

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