Switch the lights out to save energy, council is told

PUBLISHED: 11:48 17 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

NEWLY-installed solar panels on the roof of St Albans District Council offices are only a sop to energy conservation, according to a concerned resident. John Fewlass, who lives nearby, maintains that if the council is really serious about conservation, i

NEWLY-installed solar panels on the roof of St Albans District Council offices are only a sop to energy conservation, according to a concerned resident.

John Fewlass, who lives nearby, maintains that if the council is really serious about conservation, it would make an effort to switch off the lights in the civic offices overnight.

He described the civic offices as, "often lit up like a Christmas tree all night" with lights on throughout the evening and into the early hours of the morning.

He added: "Every single night without fail some lights are left on. On many occasion lots of lights are left on. These can be on all floors and any of the rooms including reception."

But a spokesperson for the district council maintained that the lights were not switched on all night and were turned off at 8pm.

She added: "The reception lights which show across most of the front of the building with windows two floors high are left on if there is a meeting in the chamber or the lower ground floor committee rooms as security/receptionist will be on duty and people need to use the area."

She said that if there was no meeting taking place, the reception lights would go off at the same time as the others in the building. If someone with a security pass was in an office late or came in and needed to switch on lights, they would remain on for an hour and then go off automatically."

Councillors agreed in April last year to install 75 solar panels on the roof of the civic offices even though the building is in the Conservation Area and they had rejected applications to do the same from at least one private household.

It said it was doing so to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability to the community by leading by example.


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