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Parliament Turns On Its Electricity Generators

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson will switch on diesel generators at Parliament today that will cut Parliament's reliance on external supply by at least 20 percent.

The generators in the basement of the Parliamentary Library will run during the peak demand hours of 8.00am-7.00pm.

Using the generators will reduce by at least 20 percent the Parliamentary complex's power needs, which last month totalled 730,000 kilowatt-hours. The complex includes Bowen House, the Beehive, Parliament House and the Parliamentary Library.

"Parliament is already an energy-efficient building complex but I'm pleased it can make this extra contribution to reducing electricity demand," Mr Hodgson said. "It is important that we show leadership in electricity savings in the public sector, which is why I have challenged government departments to save 15 percent of their ordinary power use over the next ten weeks."

Speaker Jonathan Hunt has also directed a reduction in the floodlighting that illuminates the front of Parliament House.

"I am very proud of Parliament's record as an efficient user of energy and I am determined that we should continue to act as an example to other building operators," Mr Hunt said.

Parliamentary Service last year won the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's public sector national award for energy efficiency and its buildings facilities manager, Peter Ritchie, won a national energy manager award. Savings of $359,000 a year (22.5 percent) were made.

The expected reduction of more than 146,000 kWh in Parliament's electricity demand over the coming month is enough to power 150-180 average households.

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