This past Saturday, residents and businesses around the world worked together to give back to the planet by reducing their electricity consumption for Earth Hour 2013. Beginning at 8:30pm, participants began voluntarily shutting off lights, televisions, computers, and any other unnecessary devices. Although the event was scheduled to run for one hour, many people took it upon themselves to continue reducing electricity throughout the night. After a bit of analysis, the results of this event are beginning to come in.
Toronto, Canada- Toronto Hydro, the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada, recorded a 205 megawatt (MW) reduction during the event, nearly a seven percent drop from regular load at that time. This is equal to taking approximately 92,000 homes off the electric grid!
British Columbia, Canada- Residents of British Columbia saved 136 megawatt hours of electricity, equivalent to 1.95 percent of the provincial electric load.
Hunter Valley, Australia- Ausgrid, an Australian energy retailer, reported a 1.5 percent reduction in energy use during Earth Hour. Paul Myors, energy efficiency expert, equates the drop to more than one ton of greenhouse emissions.
Cebu, Philippines- The Visayan Electric Company broadcasted a reduction of 11 MW during the time of the event. Earth Hour Philippines National Director Gia Ibay stated, “Earth Hour’s mission is threefold: to bring people together via a symbolic hour-long event, to galvanize people into taking action beyond the hour, and to create an interconnected global community working toward sustainable living practices.”
Bangkok, Thailand- The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration reported 1,699 MW (almost 1.7 gigawatts!) of reduction during Earth Hour 2013. Decreasing this amount of electricity is equal to eliminating roughly 1,073 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
London, England- Residents and businesses of London worked to reduce one percent (about 3.2 MW) of electricity according to London Hydro. The Independent Electricity System Operator found a reduction for the entire province reached 448 MW. Jay Stanford, the city’s director of Environment, Fleet & Solid Waste, commented, “Overall, the reduction in demand in London was equivalent to almost 50,000 old fashioned 60 watt light bulbs or 240,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs being turned off, or over 2,800 homes being completely powered down at the height of Earth Hour…That illustrates the influence one hour can have.”
Odisha, India- Between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, Odisha was able to lower its electric demand by over 580 MW, which is its highest reduction in four years. Participants of the event are requested to go beyond earth hour and practice continuous energy efficiency.
Nova Scotia, Canada- To show their concern for the environment, residents and businesses in Nova Scotia successfully reduced 5 MW of electric demand. This is equivalent to shutting off 384,500 13-watt CFL bulbs.
Hanoi, Vietnam- Hanoi reached 220 MW of reduction this weekend, beating last year’s record by 24 MW. The country as a whole was able to save 401 MW of power.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates- Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) recorded savings at a rate of 200,000 kWh, preventing 120 tons of carbon emissions. Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council Al Tayer expressed his gratitude, “Earth Hour 2013 has achieved significant savings and we would not have accomplished such results without the visionary directives of our leadership, support of our partners from government departments and private organizations, as well as the overwhelming participation of community members.”
South Africa- Those who participated in South Africa achieved a 629 MW electric reduction this past weekend. All nonessential lighting in homes and offices, except those required for security purposes, were shut down for the event.
Participants of Earth Hour 2013 should be proud of their efforts to strengthen the environment. The previously mentioned locations are not the only places that took part in this global event. A timeline of events can be found on the Earth Hour website. Earth Hour 2014 will be held on March 29th, but until then, be sure to continue your methods for energy efficiency. For more information on how you can do your part, click here.