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Lighting up the issue of carbon reduction

  • 2020 Carbon Pledge

Free energy-saving lightbulbs are being given to hundreds of new tenants by Charnwood Borough Council to raise awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions.

The Council has pledged to cut its energy use to help reduce its carbon footprint by 15 per cent by 2020. It is also committed to promoting carbon reduction in the community and so to raise awareness of the issue it is giving away energy-efficient lightbulbs alongside energy-saving advice to more than 500 new tenants over the next few months.

Cllr Eric Vardy, Lead Member for Sustainability, said: “We are committed to reducing our own carbon footprint and have already introduced a number of measures to do this, but as part of our pledge we also want to spread the word about the need to reduce energy use.

“We all need to play our part in protecting the environment. Using energy-saving lightbulbs is a simple, yet effective way to help reduce carbon emissions, look after the environment and also save you money in the long run.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting accounts for 18 per cent of a typical household’s electricity bill.

There are two types of energy efficient lightbulbs Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). CFLs are a cost-effective option for most general lighting requirements. Replacing a traditional light bulb with a CFL of the same brightness will save you about £5 per year, or £70 over the lifetime of the bulb.

The Energy Saving Trust advises: 

  • Always turn lights out when leaving a room, regardless of how long for
  • Be conscious of how many lights you have on and whether they all need to be in use
  • If possible, arrange light switches so that it’s convenient to turn them off i.e. place switches at top and bottom of stairs, each end of a hallway and each door to a room 
  • Use a sensor and timer on external lights so they are only in use when they need to be
  • Use appropriate lightings i.e. a low back ground light while watching television and a bright, concentrated light for reading
  • Having a range of lights in a room with separate switches will make this easier

As part of its 2020 Carbon Pledge, the Council has already introduced more efficient heating systems at Charnwood Museum and at Woodgate Chambers in Loughborough, home to various organisations as well as being used for Council and community meetings. It has also started using more electric vehicles and plans to introduce energy-saving LED lighting at its properties.

If all the Council’s energy-saving schemes are introduced, it is estimated the Council could save £85,000 a year by 2020.

For more information about the Council's carbon reduction efforts, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/2020_carbon_pledge

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