Last one left turn the lights off, Londoners urged

OFFICE workers may soon be asked to switch off all the lights when they go home at night.

Turning off unnecessary lighting would save money in the current economic climate and help reduce our carbon emissions, London Assembly members heard today (Wednesday).

Workplaces make up 43 per cent of carbon emissions in London, with lighting accounting for a fifth of these, the Assembly’s environment committee was told.

Lighting costs could be cut by up to 15 per cent—simply by using the ‘off’ switch in areas that are not being used.

The head of strategy at the Canary Wharf Group in East London, Howard Dawber, told the committee that the Government’s ‘carbon reduction commitment’ scheme is an incentive for companies to adopt energy savings policies because it is now a business cost.


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Organisations with electricity bills of �500,000 a year must measure their emissions, under the scheme, and ‘buy’ allowances to cover their emissions for the previous year.

“There is a real incentive to try to save money where you can,” Mr Dawber told the committee. “These sorts of mechanisms do concentrate the mind.”

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The Assembly today launched an investigation into lights left on in London’s workplaces.

Committee chair Darren Johnson said: “It is worthwhile now more than ever in the current economic climate for organisations to save energy and cut costs as well as emissions.

“Making sure the lights are off when the working day is over doesn’t cost anything—and saves money.”

The investigation is looking at the reasons why lights are left on and what can be done to promote energy-saving policies. It publishes its findings in the New Year.

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