Earth Hour fails to turn off all the lights

Victoria and Esquimalt did not save nearly as much electricity during Earth Hour this year compared to last year

Earth Hour was brighter than normal in Victoria this year.

Earth Hour is an annual event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund where people are encouraged to turn off lights and electronics for one hour.

This year, B.C. saved 15 megawatt hours of electricity, or a 0.2 per cent reduction in overall provincial load, equivalent to turning off about 680,000 LED light bulbs, said BC Hydro in a press release. This was the lowest energy savings in eight years.

In Greater Victoria, Sooke had the highest reduction in electricity load at 2.3 per cent savings, followed by Sidney at 2.1 per cent.

Esquimalt saved 1.9 per cent, compared to a 5.8 per cent reduction last year. Victoria saved 1.5 per cent, compared to a 3.7 per cent reduction last year.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the township promoted Earth Hour ahead of time to get residents involved again this year, and she was disappointed by the results.

“We’ll have to do a much better job next year,” she said. “It’s ok for us all to be without lights and electricity for an hour. We don’t realize how lucky we are that we have all of this and also how much we take advantage of it.”

BC Hydro customers can view their individual energy use for Saturday evening by logging onto their online account at bchydro.com/myhydro.