The House of Commons is considering plans to install solar panels on the clock face of Big Ben as part of an extensive push to crack down on the carbon footprint of Westminster.
Last month, Parliamentary passholders were requested to submit suggestions and thoughts on how the estate could aim to develop and raise energy efficiency by 34% by 2020.
One passholder recommended fitting solar panels on the clock face of Big Ben, which in 2012 was actually given the new name Elizabeth Tower.
A Spokesman for the House of Commons explained to BusinessGreen:
“These ideas will now be discussed, reviewed and prioritised by the Environment Team with a programme of initiatives to be developed in future months.”
On top of that the House Service was also planning to insulate parts of the Palace of Westminster roof with sheep’s wool next year, following a trial with Leeds University which found the material significantly reduced heat loss. Sheep’s wool is water tolerant so could also help to guard against leaks and prevent condensation from building up.
Furthermore, the House intends to install solar panels on a few flat roofs in 2015 as part of a restoration scheme to fix the cast iron roof of the Houses of Parliament.
The Spokesman added:
“The project is expected to ensure that the roof remains serviceable for another 150 years, and will give us the opportunity to improve our environmental performance ratings and fire safety systems. The House is carrying out a number of other green measures this year, including installing voltage optimisation technology to reduce energy wastage, exploring energy efficiency improvements for all buildings and replacing lights with low energy LEDs.
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