Salmo kicks BC butt in Earth Hour Challenge, wins $5K prize
Thousands of residents from across the Okanagan and Kootenays joined one of the largest environmental campaigns on the planet by switching off for Earth Hour 2012 on Saturday, March 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
For the fourth consecutive year, FortisBC sponsored the Earth Hour Challenge, encouraging residents from 17 communities to make a pledge to switch off all non-essential lighting, appliances and electronics.
“We credit the success of this year’s Earth Hour Challenge to the tremendous leadership shown by the participating communities and non-profit organizations,” said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service, FortisBC. “They reached residents in their communities by engaging businesses, schools, libraries, recreation centres and more in the effort to spread the word about Earth Hour. FortisBC congratulates all of the communities for their efforts.”
The community with the highest per capita participation for this year’s Challenge is the Village of Salmo. By collecting the most pledges, per capita, Salmo earns bragging rights and a $5,000 energy upgrade for the Salmo Public Library, their designated 2012 non-profit recipient.
“British Columbia has set the pace in North America when it comes to climate actions,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake. “Earth Hour 2012 showed us how easy it is to save energy and reduce GHG emissions by taking some pretty easy steps and I challenge British Columbians to continue saving energy whenever they can.”
In total, over 6000 pledges to participate were registered with FortisBC, a record-setting number that is more than triple from last year. This level of engagement resulted in a 1.7 per cent drop in electricity consumption, or 5.48 megawatts during Earth Hour, that’s equal to switching off approximately 90,000 60W incandescent light bulbs and represents an increase of 1.9 megawatts or 30,000 light bulbs over last year.
“Being a part of this important global initiative demonstrates that our individual actions can make a difference to conserve energy every hour and every day of the year,” said Loski,
FortisBC is committed to helping customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Since its inception in 1989, FortisBC’s PowerSense program has helped southern interior electricity customers save more than 425 gigawatt hours (GWh), enough electricity to power over 32,000 homes for a year. As well, through its three-year, $80-million Energy Efficiency and Conservation program, FortisBC will help natural gas customers eliminate more than 775,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, saving a total of 15.5 million gigajoules – enough natural gas for about 155,000 homes annually.