Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 19:51 UK

Scilly switched off to go green

Energy-saving light bulb
Isle of Scilly residents have been urged to save energy for 24 hours

Residents of the Isles of Scilly have been urged to switch off their power supplies in an energy-saving experiment lasting 24 hours.

Organisers aim to show that cutting fuel bills and electrical consumption can be easily achieved.

Dr Matt Prescott, one of the project's organisers, said people "tried really hard to keep their electricity off".

Residents were asked to switch off any electrical items they do not need, and to monitor electricity consumption.

"Local families have been the absolute superstar," said Dr Prescott.

"I'm not asking them what they can't do, I'm asking them what they can do."

There are 2,000 people living on the five inhabited islands that make up the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast.

Children have been the best supporters of the whole thing
Dr Matt Prescott

Among those taking part in the experiment are the four members of the Moore family, who are able to check their electricity use with an energy monitor installed in their home.

Stuart Moore said the monitor made the family recognise that each bit of electricity, from turning on a light to having a leisurely shower, costs money.

"It makes people aware of consumption, which is a good thing," he said.

Heating water has been one of the biggest concerns voiced from residents throughout the day.

The local school made the ill-timed decision to bake scones on Tuesday morning, but Dr Prescott said they have since recovered their efforts.

"Children have been the best supporters of the whole thing."

Measuring Success

Organisers have been monitoring and measuring Scilly's consumption throughout the day.

Dr Prescott said they did not have a specific number in mind for total electricity used. "I just wanted it to be down compared to the rest of the country," he said.

He also said the Scilly Isles' electricity consumption was measured as being up 1% compared to the previous day, while England was up about 2%.

"I'm hoping a lot of people are going to turn stuff off after work, to make a special effort," he said.

Approximately 12 businesses have signed up with the aim of working toward reducing negative environmental impact on the small, isolated islands, which have had a green tourism business scheme since November 2005.

"It's so hard to get the community to support you. You just don't know, they might just shrug their shoulders," Dr Prescott said, "but they've really got into it.

"It's been one of the most exciting days of my life seeing the whole community rally together."

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Isles of Scilly switching off
06 Oct 09 |  UK


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