Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:46

Spring has sprung, events season has begun

Hills Shire resident chats to WSROC staff Hills Shire resident chats to WSROC staff Credit:: Jay La Photography

The Light Years Ahead (opens external site) project team have been busy in September with the community events season beginning. Since the start of the month the team have attended three large council-run events across Western Sydney. Event staff have estimated more than 250 residents have stopped by to chat to staff about the project and home energy usage.
All three events have showcased the events kit developed for the project which items including a:

  • Model house with removable roof – to demonstrate the impact residents can have on heating and cooling, furnishings, gardens and awnings.
  • Common household lighting display – samples of LED and carbon fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, halogen and LED downlights, and energy estimates of yearly running costs.
  • Draught tunnel – demonstrating the impact of door and window seals on reducing draughts.
  • Thermal conductivity display – demonstrating the difference in heat conductivity through a range of building materials such as plain glass, double-glazed and tinted glass, timber and aluminium.

Penrith event

The first September event was Penrith City Council’s (opens external site) Bicentenary of Penrith Festival, held in one of the City’s newest estates called Thornton, near Penrith train station. Crowds explored the oval and celebrated the past 200 years. It was a fitting event to attend as Penrith turned on its first street lights 125 years ago. Residents were keen to discuss the model street lights on display as well as household lighting, heating and cooling solutions.

 Light Years Ahead event booth with staff at stand and visiting resident

Caption: Event booth at Bicentenary of Penrith Festival. 

Credit: Jay La Photography


penrith city council light years ahead bicentenary

Caption: WSROC staff hold old and new street lights either side of Murray Hills from Penrith City Council. 

Credit: Jay La Photography

Holroyd event

The second event was Holroyd City Council’s (opens external site) PetFest event on Sunday 13 September. It was another glorious spring day to celebrate Holroyd City’s furry residents – dogs, cats, parrots, birds, guinea pigs and many more. Residents were again intrigued by the street lights and household energy-saving props. A number of ‘best in show’ prizes were awarded Light Years Ahead Energy Saver Packs awarded to the Grand Champion and Best Party Trick winner, Bentley (pictured below with his trainer Heather Addie). These packs include over $200 worth of energy-saving goodies.

Heather lies on back with feet in air and dog sitting on soles of feet

Caption: Trainer Heather Addie and her dog Bentley show off the winning Best Party Trick.

Credit: Jay La Photography

Heather and Bentley in group shot with other trainers and judge

Caption: Trainer Heather Addie and her dog Bentley are joined by her team and judge after Bentley was awarded Grand Champion. They won a Light Years Ahead Energy Saving Pack. 

Credit: Jay La Photography

Hills Shire event

The third event was Hills Shire Council’s (opens external site) Orange Blossom Festival. Crowds braved the cloudy weather before an afternoon downpour. The newly appointed Mayor of the Hills Shire (Dr Michelle Byrne) joined the WSROC President (Cllr Tony Hadchiti) and visited the event booth. 

The Mayor received a demonstration. Project staff updated her on the discussions with residents – noting the high number of residents who have reviewed their lighting, heating and cooling measures, and energy usage in their homes. Children showed off a great understanding of energy-savings, while proud parents looked on.

WSROC President and Hills Shire Mayor hold street lights next to event booth

Caption: Left to right - WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti and Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne

Credit: Jay La Photography

WSROC staff with Hills Shire Mayor and WSROC President around home lighting prop

Caption: WSROC Staff (Michelle Playford and Nicole Miller) and the WSROC President discuss household lighting with the Mayor

Credit: Jay La Photography

WSROC staff and President discuss model house prop with roof off with Mayor

Caption: WSROC Media and Communications Officer Nicole Miller discusses the model house with the WSROC President and Mayor

Credit: Jay La Photography

Resident feedback on both the event kit props and street lighting roll out has been overwhelmingly positive. A number of residents have commended WSROC and the nine participating councils on their initiative. Residents in all three council areas have welcomed in-depth discussions around energy-saving measures they have applied and their to-do-list to continue to reduce energy bills. They have shared their experience and tips including; updating curtains, blinds and pelmets*; tree-planting decisions for shade and heat protection; installation of solar panels and solar hot water systems; installation of films to windows to reduce heat; and ‘whirly birds’ roof ventilation.

To find out which events the project team travel to next, go to the website – (opens external site). The website includes energy-saving tips for residents and a number of government resources.

Parents may be interested in the children’s colouring-in competition, also found on the website (opens external site), with entries closing on 22 November. Children are asked to colour-in and to write their best two energy-saving tips. There are categories for children aged 5-7 years, 8–10 years and 11– 12 years old.

To follow the action of our Light Years Ahead project team as they travel to events across Western Sydney, head to WSROC’s Facebook –


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Disclaimer and acknowledgement

This activity received funding from the Australian Government. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.



*Definition of a pelmet – A pelmet is a long, narrow cover that can be mounted to the top of curtains and blinds and mounted to the wall. They reduce heated or cooled air being lost – breaking up the flow of air passing over the furnishings and escaping through gaps in window frames. Pelmets are often covered in fabric and match curtains. There are a number of do-it-yourself pelmet projects that can be found through web search engines.


Related content
Light Years Ahead project page
Last modified on Friday, 02 October 2015 17:08