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Earth Hour in Ottawa: a post-mortem

March 31, 2008 @ 13:53 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment

So, Earth Hour has come and gone.  Electricity utilities reported that consumption during the hour in Ontario dropped by 5%.  Ottawa’s power consumption.

In Ottawa, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), the government’s landlord, turned off architectural lighting and signage on most government buildings, including the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and many businesses and individuals participated.  According to Ottawa Hydro, electricity consumption in Ottawa dropped by 4%, a significant drop given that lighting only accounts for about 14% of the electricity used in the city.

I turned off all my lights for the hour, though I did not disconnect things like my refrigerator, though I did turn off the heating units in my apartment.  Other friends of mine turned off pretty much everything for the hour, even if a lot of their neighbours didn’t.

Earth Hour isn’t really about reducing electricity consumption for an hour, it’s about raising awareness.  Perhaps it’s a big feel-good activity, but there has been a fair bit of coverage in the media and I’ve heard people talking about it while out and about.  Hopefully, people will take away from this just how easy it is to make a few changes that contribute to reducing the impact they have on the environment and actually make some permanent changes in their day-to-day lives.

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