British Columbians cut their electricity consumption by a slim 1.04 per cent during Earth Hour Saturday night, according to the province’s power provider.
This reduction is down from previous years, with 2009 registering a 1.1-per-cent decrease and 2008 boasting a 2.0-per-cent reduction, according to BC Hydro’s statistics.
Vancouver’s power consumption between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday was slightly better than the overall provincial average with a 1.4 per cent decrease, according to BC Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer.
Burns Lake clocked the largest meter-savings in the province with a seven-per-cent decrease.
Critics of Earth Hour, the annual global event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about climate change, say that any reduction during this hour tends to be bookended by spikes in electricity usage before and after that time as consumers merely shift their usage. But Heer maintained that this did not appear to be the case in B.C.
“There wasn’t a spike or increase afterwards,” said Heer. “There’s a natural reduction in our energy load anyway during this time, so the load continues to decrease throughout the night every Saturday night. So when we do the results, we subtract the natural load from the overall reduction.”
In a press release Sunday, BC Hydro put the single percentage-point drop into perspective, saying, “If British Columbians implemented the same conservation measures just one hour every evening, the combined savings would be enough to power close to 2,200 homes for an entire year.”