Earth Hour a bust this year

It was the worst showing on record for British Columbians during this year’s Earth Hour, and Campbell River’s efforts went unrecorded

It was the worst showing on record for British Columbians during this year’s Earth Hour, and Campbell River’s efforts went virtually unnoticed.

That’s because the amount of energy savings in Campbell River wasn’t recorded and so may never been known.

Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, said that unfortunately Hydro was not able to obtain the energy savings data during Earth Hour, which took place between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. last Saturday.

“There are two substations that serve the wider Campbell River area, including the Campbell River substation and the Oyster River substation,” Watson said in an email. “It may not have been recorded for the event or the data may have been inaccurate.”

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams delivered an Earth Hour proclamation for the city and City Hall was encouraging residents to take part in the energy savings event.

Other communities across B.C. also took part, but saved just 15 megawatt hours of electricity, the lowest savings in eight years.

British Columbians reduced the provincial energy load by turning off unnecessary lights and electronics for one hour, but only by 0.2 per cent – the equivalent of turning off about 680,000 LED light bulbs.

That effort was down 77 per cent compared to 2014’s output when communities across B.C. saved 65 megawatt hours, and down 89 per cent from 2013 when 136 megawatt hours were saved.

Whistler led the way this year, achieving the greatest energy savings for the second year in a row, with a 7.2 per cent reduction.

Fort Nelson, Courtenay and Comox tied for the smallest energy reduction at 0.1 per cent.

Last year, Campbell Riverites reduced their energy consumption by 2.2 per cent and in 2013, by 2.46 per cent.

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million homes and businesses decided to turn off their lights for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

The following year, 35 countries joined in the movement with more than 50 million people participating.

Today, Earth Hour is a global event hosted by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and is celebrated in 120 countries and 24 times zones around the world.

While the efforts of Campbell River as a whole were not recorded, BC Hydro customers can view their individual energy use for Saturday evening, and specifically Earth Hour, by logging onto MyHydro and going to their online account at www.bchydro.com/myhydro to see an hourly breakdown of their electricity use.

Campbell River Mirror