Earth Hour reduces electricity by 117 megawatts

British Columbians saved 117 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.8 per cent during Earth Hour last week – almost twice as much as the 64 megawatt hours and 1.04 percent saved last year – and the equivalent of turning off about 7.8 million 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The community with the highest reduction in consumption – six per cent – was Pitt Meadows. Tumbler Ridge measured the second highest decrease at five per cent.

The event showed that British Columbians can make a difference in energy conservation with a simple effort. Increased participation by commercial and industrial customers is believed to be one the main reasons for the increase in savings this year.

“We’re delighted to see the significant increase in electricity savings over last year which we believe are a result of the increased leadership and commitment of both businesses and residences. Think about it: if British Columbians who participated this year implemented the same conservation measures one hour every day for the whole year, the combined savings would power close to 4,000 homes for an entire year,” said Lisa Coltart, Executive Director of Power Smart and Customer Care. “We encourage our customers to think about how to live a little bit of Earth Hour every day and we will continue to support them with Power Smart tools and resources to help achieve this goal.”

Earth Hour is an annual global event hosted by WWF and supported provincially by BC Hydro. This year marks the fourth year of BC Hydro’s support of the event. The goal of the event is to encourage individuals to turn off unnecessary light and electronics in an effort to conserve power and in doing so, demonstrate support for the fight against climate change.

British Columbia is growing, and so is the need for electricity. BC Hydro is working to meet at least 66 per cent of new electricity demand through conservation and energy efficiency by 2020. In the last three years alone, BC Hydro’s Power Smart programs have saved close to 2,300 gigawatt hours of electricity – enough to power 200,000 homes annually.

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