Historic global event a local success

Press Release – Christchurch City Council

History was made on Saturday night when an estimated one billion people in 4,000 cities switched off for Earth Hour – making it the largest environmental event on the planet – ever.

MEDIA RELEASE 31 March 2009
Historic global event a local success

History was made on Saturday night when an estimated one billion people in 4,000 cities switched off for Earth Hour – making it the largest environmental event on the planet – ever.

After the fantastic local support for Earth Hour over the weekend, the Christchurch City Council wants to say a huge thank you to all who took part, and to encourage people to get involved in activities which can help them make it Earth Hour every hour.

Tony Moore, the Council’s Principle Advisor – Sustainability, says the community support shown to the event this year was fantastic. “It was great to see so many individuals and businesses taking part, including lots of restaurant holding candle-lit evenings throughout the city”.

The free concert in Cathedral Square was also a popular night out with about 2000 people along to see the free concert in Cathedral Square. Mr Moore says the bands who donated their time and business who supplied prizes deserve a big thank you for ensuring everyone had a great night out.

The combined community effort managed to reduce Christchurch’s power consumption by 8.1%, a drop of 21.7 MWh. This is the equivalent of the electricity used annually in two homes, and compares to a nationwide saving of approximately 5%.

Mr Moore says he hopes that all those people who took part in Earth Hour will now be inspired to see what they can do in their everyday life to reduce their energy use.

A great start is to come along to some of the free Energy Awareness Week lectures being put on by the Christchurch City Council this week. Topics being covered include how to reduce energy use at home, how to design an energy efficient home and how to make the most of renewable energy.

There are also lots of other ways people can do their bit to create a more sustainable future. Sustainable Living NZ runs regular courses on how to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, and Target Sustainability runs similar courses for businesses.

People should also look out for their upcoming rates invoices which will include information on how the Community Energy Action Charitable Trust can help with home energy solutions. Community Energy Action has advice on low cost options to make your house warmer and dryer, as well information about how to access grants and subsidies for energy efficiency measures.

The Energy Awareness Week lectures are part of the Christchurch City Council’s Sustainable Energy Strategy for Christchurch 2008-2018. As part of the strategy the Council has also made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 65% of the 1994 level by 2011. The Council is already making good progress on these goals having reduced energy consumption by 33 % and carbon dioxide emissions by 50%. Future projects include powering the Christchurch Art Gallery and the new Civic Offices with biogas from the Burwood Landfill.

For more information about the projects mentioned go to -
http://www.ccc.govt.nz/EnergyEfficiency/EnergyAwareness
http://www.sustainableliving.org.nz/
http://www.targetsustainability.co.nz/
http://www.ccc.govt.nz/environment/sustainableenergy/energystrategy.pdf

ENDS

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