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Power down this Saturday

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It’s time again to flick that switch.

Earth Hour, a symbolic global event aimed at fighting climate change, is this Saturday (March 31) for 60 minutes beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to show their support for energy conservation by turning off their lights, TVs and other electronics for an hour and instead, dine by candlelight, play board games or tell stories.

Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned the lights off. A year later, it spread to more than 50 million people across 35 countries, when well-known landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Rome’s Colosseum stood in darkness. More than a billion people in 135 countries now participate in the World Wildlife Fund-hosted event.

But BC Hydro, which provides provincial support for the initiative, is hoping people will use Earth Hour as motivation to take action to reduce energy use year-round. If everyone in B.C. cut consumption for just one hour every evening, the combined savings would be enough to power 4,000 for an entire year.

Last year 117 megawatt hours of electricity were saved as B.C. residents cut electricity consumption by 1.8 per cent during Earth Hour. Surrey was slightly below the average, dropping its usage by 1.5 per cent, while Delta was above the average at 2.1 per cent.

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