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Solar panels, LED lights an energetic way to save

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PITTWATER Council has carved its electricity consumption back by 3.2 million kilowatt hours over the past five years.

The cuts have been made through the council's Revolving Energy Fund, when $100,000 was allocated in 2007 to install energy efficient facilities and devices.

Money saved through reduced power costs was then "revolved" back into the fund and added to another $100,000 provided the following year.

Measures including the installation of solar panels, solar water heating and lighting, LED lighting systems, time clocks on water heating and cooling and light movement sensors were paid for from the fund.

Fund initiatives have saved the council $196,833 in the past financial year and $570,716 since the fund was started, according to a yearly update on the fund presented to the council.

Council corporate strategy and commercial manager Paul Reid said the initiative showed the public how they could reduce their electricity bills.

"The work we've done is not complicated. The stuff we're doing, anybody can do that in their own homes," he said.

"Electricity costs are spiralling out of control. What we're trying to do now is reduce the impact of the cost of electricity."

Manly Council general manager Henry Wong said his staff have been running a similar program since the late 1990s in which money saved was reinvested in better technologies.

One example was street lighting. The council switched to green power for its lighting a few years ago which has reduced its carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes.

A Warringah Council spokeswoman said it used the same amount of energy as it did in 2005, despite the fact that more people now used its centres and it offered longer library hours.

In the past two years the council had received several awards for its sustainability initiatives.

This included the Sustainable Procurement Award for the use of soy diesel in its car fleet.

TRY THIS AT HOME

Pittwater's power saving measures that you can use in your home:

Solar panels

Solar hot water heaters

Solar lighting

Time clocks on water heaters and coolers

Light movement sensors

LED lights and fittings

Floodlight dimmers

Electricity usage data loggers

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