Fewer join effort to cut power use

Fewer local residents were in the dark for Earth Hour on Saturday night.

Fewer local residents were in the dark for Earth Hour on Saturday night.

Red Deer’s electricity consumption between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. was reduced by 2.85 per cent, compared to 3.2 per cent during the same hour in 2013.

Residential and commercial customers joined in the global movement, saving a total of 2,844 kilowatt hours of electricity this year.

That’s the equivalent of turning off close to 218,770 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs for the hour.

“We hope that by powering down and turning off the lights for an hour, people consider making more energy-efficient choices year-round,” said Keran Braich, city environmental program specialist.

“A small change like this raises awareness about the link between energy reduction and climate change, and hopefully leads to a global impact on the environment.”

In 2009, there were power reductions of 2.5 per cent, 4.6 per cent in 2010, 1.3 per cent in 2011 and 4.2 per cent in 2012.

Red Deerians made a splash with 350 swimmers participating in the Dim Swims at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre and Collicutt Centre during Earth Hour.

Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007.

For more information on Earth Hour or other City of Red Deer environmental initiatives, visit www.reddeer.ca/environment.