VICTORIA - Environment Minister Mary Polak is encouraging individuals and businesses throughout the province to participate in Earth Hour 2014 by powering down between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 2014.
“Participating in Earth Hour is a simple way for British Columbians to conserve energy while saving costs,” said Polak. “To demonstrate our government’s ongoing climate action efforts, the Jubilee Lights at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria will be shutting off for the sixth year in a row in addition to the many provincial government offices that regularly power off non-essential lights and electronics after hours.”
During last year’s Earth Hour, the province saved 136 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.95% — the equivalent of turning off more than 10 million 12.5 watt LED light bulbs. British Columbia communities started off strong with Comox and Courtenay leading the highest reduction in energy use at nearly 10%.
This year, two Canadian Earth Hour City finalists — Surrey and the City of North Vancouver — received a special mention from World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) jury of experts for their ambitious efforts to boost renewable energy and reduce carbon footprints.
Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about harmful climate change effects. Starting in Sydney, Australia as a one hour lights-off event, the movement has grown to engage more than 7000 cities worldwide encouraging individuals and businesses to take a symbolic stance in support of climate change action.
According to the World Wildlife Fund:
- Earth Hour 2013 took place in more than 7000 cities and towns in 154 countries and territories across world. The campaign experienced its biggest growth since 2009.
- Key international landmarks participating in 2013:
- The Tokyo Tower
- The Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square in Russia
- The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben in London
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris
- The Grand Palace and Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
- The top five B.C. communities for this year’s Earth Hour were Comox, Courtenay, North Sannich, Sidney and Qualicum.
- The total provincial energy savings from Earth Hour participation since 2008 is 500.27 megawatt hours of electricity — the equivalent of turning off 40 million 12.5 watt LED light bulbs.
- BC Hydro’s Power Smart: www.bchydro.com/powersmart
- LiveSmart BC: www.livesmartbc.ca
- WWF Earth Hour Canada website: www.momentofdarkness.ca/en/
- BC Hydro’s Earth Hour Page: www.bchydro.com/earthhour
Ministry of Environment