February 19, 2010
Media Release

Lights out at the York Region Administrative Centre

In recognition of Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27th
The Regional Municipality of York committed to helping the environment year round
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council unanimously agreed to turn off all non-essential lights at Regional facilities for one hour in recognition of the World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour which takes place Saturday, March 27th at 8:30 p.m.
 
"The Regional Municipality of York is committed to reducing our environmental footprint year round," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "York Regional Council has approved numerous green initiatives across all Regional departments and facilities towards greater environmental sustainability and stewardship."
 
"Participation by York Region and local municipalities in Earth Hour sends a powerful message to our residents and businesses that everyone has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, who moved the Earth Hour 2010 motion at Regional Council.  "Earth Hour is not just about turning off the lights for 60 minutes, but simple everyday actions we can take to reduce our energy consumption at work and at home."
 
York Region will turn off all lights at our facilities where feasible and without jeopardizing safety.  In particular, the Region will focus attention at two main locations:
 
• York Region Administrative Centre, located at 17250 Yonge Street in the Town of Newmarket
• York Region South Services Centre, located at 50 High Tech Road in the Town of Richmond Hill
 
Approximately 2,800 York Region employees and their families are also being encouraged to turn off the lights at home.
 
As part of the commitment towards reducing our ecological footprint and CO2 emissions, York Region continues to make a significant investment towards energy conservation.  York Region has conducted energy audits and retrofits of a majority of existing Regional facilities and adopted minimum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standards for all of our new buildings.
 
Energy retrofits of the York Region Administrative Centre have produced annual savings of approximately $200,000.  Retrofits have included the installation of more energy efficient florescent lighting and motion sensors to turn off lights when occupants leave their work space.
 
York Region also works with Rodan Power (part of the Ontario Power Authority's demand reduction program) to reduce energy consumption at the Administrative Centre during peak demand times, especially during the hot summer months.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact:  Ken Turriff, Corporate Communications, York Region
                       Phone: 905 830-4444 / Toll Free 1-877-464-9675 ext. 1226
                       Cell: (905) 251-6415 / Email: ken.turriff@york.ca

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