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Parliament turns lights out for Earth Hour

27 March 2020

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

On Saturday 28th March, between 8.30-9.30pm, Parliament will switch off the lights, joining landmarks across the world participating in Earth Hour 2020.

All non-essential internal and external lights will be switched off to raise awareness about the need for action on climate change.

Parliament has taken part in this initiative since 2010, which is supported by the Speakers of both Houses as a demonstration of our longstanding commitment to improving sustainability across the parliamentary estate and beyond.

What exactly will happen?

All non-essential internal and external lighting will be switched off at the Houses of Parliament between 8.30-9.30pm on Saturday 28 March. This is expected to include:

  • the floodlights on the Palace and Portcullis House, and the lights on the visible Elizabeth Tower clock face
  • lights in function rooms overlooking the riverfront 

Last year's Earth Hour resulted in a 7.7% reduction in electrical demand for the Palace of Westminster for that hour.

How is Parliament improving its environmental performance?

Since 2008/09 Parliament has lowered its electricity use by 19.8%, gas use by 10.3% and water consumption by 31%. Some of the measures taken to help achieve these environmental improvements include:

  • The efficiency of the heating, ventilation and cooling has been improved through an upgrade to the Building Management System
  • The majority of the lighting within the buildings is now LED, or will be upgraded to LED during refurbishments
  • Installation of SMART metering to allow live tracking of energy and water consumption
  • Use of borehole water to provide air cooling in Portcullis House, and using the by-product as flush-water in toilets
  • Recycling or recovery of 69% of Parliament's general waste.

Visit the WWF for more information about Earth Hour 2020. Join in the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #EarthHourUK.