Red Deerians made a splash with global impact last Saturday night, with approximately 322 people in total turning out for the Earth Hour Swim at the G.H. Dawe Centre and Collicutt Centre for Earth Hour.
The Dawe and Collicutt turned off non-essential lights for the City’s second annual Earth Hour Swim in the aims of creating a fun atmosphere, conserving energy, and raising awareness of climate change. The recreation centres joined other City facilities in powering down for Earth Hour, an annual event recognized across the globe on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Red Deer’s electricity consumption for Earth Hour 2015 was down by 6.77% compared to the same day last week. This compares to power reductions of 2.5% in 2009, 4.6% in 2010, 1.3% in 2011, 4.2% in 2012, 3.2% in 2013 and 2.85% in 2014.
It is possible that weather contributed to the significant drop in electricity consumption experienced this year. Residential and commercial customers joined in the global movement, saving a total of 6,529 kilowatt hours of electricity this year. That’s the equivalent of turning off close to 505,262 13- watt compact fluorescent light bulbs for the hour.
“We hope that by powering down and turning off the lights for an hour, people consider making more energy-efficient choices year-round,” said Bailey Doepker, environmental program specialist. “A small change like this raises awareness about the link between energy reduction and climate change, and hopefully leads to a global impact on the environment.”
Organized by the WWF, Earth Hour began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since grown to involve more than 7,000 communities in an effort to protect the planet and encourage a more sustainable global community. For more information on Earth Hour or other City of Red Deer environmental initiatives, please visit www.reddeer.ca/environment.