Lifestyle

Chilliwack turns in third worst Earth Hour performance in B.C.

Earth Hour 2013 failed to shut off Chilliwack's lights, according to BC Hydro. But British Columbians still managed to reduce their electricity usage.

Since 2007, the World Wildlife Fund has been encouraging people around the globe to switch off their lights for one hour, one day a year.

"It's a simple way to show you care, but it also sends a powerful message: That together, we can make a difference," states the WWF.

This year that opportunity came last Saturday, March 23, at 8:30 p.m.

B. C. saved 136 megawatt hours of electricity, a two per cent reduction in the electricity load. This is the equivalent of turning off 10 million 12.5-watt LED light bulbs. Last year, savings were only 121 megawatt hours.

The weight of this year's savings fell on Vancouver Island communities, which took the top 11 spots, out of the communities for which data is available. Comox and Courtenay each cut their usage by about 10 per cent during that hour.

Chilliwack was the province's third-worst performer, cutting energy usage by 0.3 per cent. Only Salmon Arm and Enderby saved less, at 0.2 per cent each.

Notably, Vancouver and surrounding areas did not do well either, hovering at around the two per cent mark.

BC Hydro was able to calculate electricity usage to the hour because of power smart meters. Residents can also track their exact usage online, which can reduce how much electricity they use.

1.74 million of the 1.9 million BC Hydro meters around the province have been changed to smart meters.

akonevski@theprogress.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski
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