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Waitakere Turns On To Turn-Off

Waitakere Turns On To Turn-Off

In an agreement with its power provider, United Networks, the Waitakere City Council has arranged for street lights to be turned on later (and off earlier).

Streetlights around Waitakere will be turned on 15 minutes later at night and off up to 15 minutes earlier in the morning to reduce power consumption in the wake of the electricity crisis.

However public safety is paramount and United Networks will use discretion if it believes the lights need to go on earlier or off later. It will take weather and light conditions into account and make daily adjustments.

Motorists are urged to be alert and look for bikes and pedestrians and to switch vehicle lights on earlier.

As street lighting amounts to about half of the City’s total power bill, the Council says the move will see significant savings although, at this stage, they can’t be quantified.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, a national meeting took place in Wellington between local authorities (including Waitakere City Council), Transit New Zealand, the Land Transport Safety Authority, Police, Local Government NZ and the Winter Power Task Force to discuss further opportunities for reducing electricity usage from street lighting. An action plan is in the process of being developed that will identify how and when streetlights could be turned off around New Zealand, while ensuring public safety. The Council will consider the recommendations of the action plan as soon as they have been completed.

The Winter Power Task Force has identified that significant energy savings from street lighting will be required should New Zealand need to reduce its electricity use by 20%.

Waitakere City Council is also continuing to make power savings within its own buildings and facilities.

Initiatives include reminders to staff to turn off office lights and computer monitors during breaks, meetings and at night, Printers and mobile phone and digital camera chargers are also being switched of and hot water has turned down to between 50 and 55 oC (saving on the costs of heating hot water cylinders).

Air conditioning and heating units are also being turned off.

Residents can make savings at home by turning off heated towel rails, other appliances and lights when not in use, washing clothes in cold water, having short showers (and having showers rather than baths), repairing leaking taps, using hot water cylinder wraps and installing energy efficient lights and bulbs.

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