From Dean Dowd on March 31, 2008 in Green Remodeling
On Saturday, March 29, from 8 to 9 p.m., millions of people turned off their lights, sending a message of solidarity across the world. Climate change must be stopped, the darkened skyscrapers, homes, and business districts seemed to say. If change can happen with the smallest of deeds enacted on a wide scale, Earth Hour is the perfect example. Twenty-six major cities and hundreds of smaller local towns participated. But the darkness was more than symbolic. Results of the hour-long protest against climate change have yet to be sorted out, but here are some of early numbers showing just how much a single hour can do.
- According to the World Wildlife Fund, as many as 10 million people worldwide participated.
- According to EirGrid, electricity use went down by 1.5 percent in Ireland.
- In Toronto, electricity consumption dropped by 264 megawatts, the equivalent of that used by 175,000 households. This accounts for an 8.7 percent drop, exceeding the 5 percent that was expected in this city.
- According to AMR Interactive, 58 percent of Australians participated in Earth Hour by switching off lights, turning off computers, televisions and other household appliances.
- The National Electricity Market Management Company says Australias national energy grid saw an energy reduction of 1,000 megawatts for the hour, the equivalent of approximately two large power stations being temporarily shut down.
- ComEd officials estimate that the hour-long outage lowered electricity consumption by about 5 percent for the hour in Chicago, compared with the Saturday before.
- WWF Thailand said the lights out campaign in Bangkok saved 73.34 megawatts of electricity, which would have produced 45.8 tons of carbon dioxide.
- In the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, energy distribution company Orion said power consumption dropped 12.8 percent during Earth Hour.
- Residents and businesses across Canberra cane together for an impressive 11.4 percent drop in electricity consumption for the hour, according to ActewAGL.Canberra.
- 94 percent of the top 100 ASX companies supported Earth Hour.
Continue saving on your energy bill every hour of the day. Turn off your lights when you leave the room. Use a power strip to help reduce electricity use during stand-by mode. Purchase Energy Star appliances that use less power. Install solar panels that create electricity from the suns renewable energy.