Burns Lake 42 in the province for Earth Hour 2012

Local residents managed to reduce their electricity consumption by 2.52 per cent during the Earth Hour 2012.

Local residents managed to reduce their electricity consumption by 2.52 per cent during the Earth Hour 2012.

According to Bob Gammer from BC Hydro, local energy saving efforts during the one hour event put Burns Lake in 42 place in the province, behind the Hazeltons and Richmond.

During 2010, Burns Lake claimed Earth Hour’s top spot in the province, with a seven per cent drop in consumption.

The top community this year was Revelstoke, with 12.15 per cent savings, followed by Pemberton at 6.8 per cent.

Stephanie Beerling, village director of corporate services said lights in the municipal office were turned off in recognition of Earth Hour.

According to Beerling, the street lights are not able to be shut off during Earth Hour because they are on a hard wired system controlled by photocells that don’t have manual switches.

British Columbians in the 91 participating communities across the province saved 121 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.67 per cent.

Gammer said this years provincial energy savings was about the same as the 1.8 percent drop in energy consumption during Earth Hour 2011.

“It is the equivalent of turning off about nine million 12.5 watt LED light bulbs. The event shows that British Columbians can make a difference in energy conservation through simple efforts,” he said.

Earth Hour is an annual global event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund and supported provincially by BC Hydro. This year marks the fifth year of BC Hydro’s support of the event.

Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when approximately 2.2 million homes and businesses turned out their lights for one hour to make a stand against climate change. Since then landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, Toronto’s CN Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco have all stood in darkness to show support for awareness to climate change.

Earth Hour is now a globally recognized  initiative and millions of people across the globe turn out their lights on this day every year.

“The goal is to encourage individuals to turn off unnecessary lights and electronics in an effort to conserve power and in doing so, demonstrate support for climate change reduction efforts,” Gammer said.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, worldwide participation in Earth Hour 2012 broke previous participation records, with 150 countries and territories across 6,494 towns and cities participating in the global event. During 2011, 135 countries participated.