Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 12:45 UK

Energy saving initiative begins

Big Switch Off
Saving energy helps both the planet and household budgets, officials said

A week-long campaign to cut energy use in Leicestershire is under way.

The initiative, called The Big Switch Off, aims to reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and unused appliances.

Homes, businesses, schools and community groups are involved and the results will be monitored by experts.

The county council, which has co-ordinated a series of events, said up to £13m worth of energy could be saved with simple measures.

Environment and energy events are being held at Loughborough and De Montfort Universities along with a Sustainability Showcase at the Walkers Stadium detailing green technologies.

Recession bonus

Energy monitors are being loaned out by Leicester libraries so households can get live information on their power usage.

Leicester City Councillor Sarah Russell, cabinet lead for the environment, said: "This is a great opportunity for people to see just how much energy is being wasted around the home each day and how much money you can save by doing simple things.

"If people did simple things like turning electrical equipment off instead of on standby it could save a household £30 a year and in these difficult financial time, every penny counts."

Last year, for a single day event, enough energy was saved to boil 2,250 kettles for one hour.

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