The illumination of Parliament Buildings

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FOI 20-22

5 April 2022


Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 23 March 2022 in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request, you asked:

“This is in regards to the cost of illuminating the Stormont Parliament Building.

1.     How much, let’s say, on a monthly basis, is the cost of electricity to illuminate.

2.   How long in hours are they switched on, on a normal day?

Following a request from the business area clarification of your request was sought on 29 March 2022 as follows:

I would like to know if you could be more specific as to whether your request is in relation to the external lighting for Parliament Buildings for specific events or do you mean for the overall building in general?

Your response of 30 March 2022 provided the following clarification:

It’s my understanding that the building is illuminated from the outside.

At night obviously. It just seems, that whenever I see a news outlet doing a outside broadcast that the building is floodlit. Perhaps I am wrong in my assumption.”

The Assembly Commission holds some of the information in relation to your request and this information is outlined below.

The external lighting at Parliament Buildings consists of amenity and floodlighting and is used mainly for security and health and safety reasons. The normal lighting hours for the external lighting at Parliament Buildings are as follows:

Amenity Lighting

On at 16.00 and off at 09.00.


On at 05.30 and off at 09.00 then on at 16.00 and off at 01.00.

The amenity and floodlighting is not separately metered and therefore it cannot be separately costed.

You have the right to request a formal review by the Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address. If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.


Yours sincerely


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