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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Clitheroe Castle Switches Off for Earth Hour

Published Thursday 21st March 13

Clitheroe Castle is joining hundreds of iconic buildings across the UK, among them the Houses of Parliament and Manchester United's Old Trafford, by switching off its lights for an hour on Saturday.

And the big switch-off, called Earth Hour, will herald a week of energy efficiency giveaways at the Ribble Valley Borough Council Offices in Church Walk, Clitheroe.

From 8.30 to 9.30pm on 23  March thousands of individuals, landmarks, businesses and schools will plunge into darkness to show their support for a sustainable future.

Earth Hour, organised by the World Wildlife Fund, attracts thousands of participants, from the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, to Edinburgh Castle and Piccadilly Circus.

Now Ribble Valley Borough Council has signed up to the annual "lights out" campaign that has even attracted the support of astronauts at the International Space Station.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Michael Ranson said: "We are proud to be involved in such an inspiring event as Earth Hour.

"Although the Clitheroe Castle lights are energy-efficient, we think plunging this iconic landmark into darkness will show that we take the wellbeing of the planet seriously.

"Everyone has a role to play in reducing the carbon footprint and we invite residents to join us in this symbolic gesture."

Rachel Bloodworth, spokesperson for WWF-UK, added: "We need to move away from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy and by switching off their lights for an hour residents, businesses and buildings across the country will become part of something incredible to help make that change a reality."

Ribble Valley Borough Council is at the forefront of several energy efficiency schemes, including People Power and the award-winning Warm Homes Healthy People.

People Power aims to combine the purchasing power of residents to cut the cost of heating and lighting. If just 15,000 households from across Lancashire sign up to the scheme they could save a hefty £3million a year - up to £250 each - on their energy bills. Households are invited to register by 8 April, with energy suppliers vying for their business on 9 April.

And the first 20 residents to sign-up for People Power at the Ribble Valley Borough Council Offices between Monday 25 March, and Thursday 28 March, will receive Warm Homes Healthy People goody bags featuring electric blankets, fleece shawls, hats and gloves, flasks and thermos cups, nightlights, slippers vouchers, draft-proofing and radiator reflectors.

Everyone thereafter will receive a host of giveaways, such as People Power fridge magnets and pens, and energy efficient light bulbs.

Warm Homes Healthy People Warm Homes Healthy People, launched last winter by Ribble Valley Borough Council and the Department of Health, saw free winter warmer packs distributed to vulnerable households across the borough. Now the scheme, cited by the Government as an example of best practise, has been re-launched to include boiler replacements and repairs, gas supply and appliance safety checks, home heat loss checks with thermal imaging cameras, home energy checks with OWL monitors and loft and cavity wall insulation.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has reduced the energy bills and carbon footprint of its buildings, including Clitheroe Castle, by the installation of green technology, such as motion-sensory lighting and hand-dryers. Two of the council's public loos, at Slaidburn and Ribchester, have also won national awards for being energy and water-efficient, with anti-vandal sensory taps and flushes, and energy-saving light bulbs.

Further details of People Power and Warm Homes Healthy People are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.