Monday, 31 March 2008

After Earth Hour

For one hour electricity use in the Toronto area was down about 5% on the night of Saturday March 29, 2008. Many large buildings and lots of individuals turned off their lights to make a statement about the need to conserve energy and to fight the global warming problem. It was a success in getting the message out to more people and encouraging those who participated in being more conscious of their energy use. Turning off lights makes a small difference that can add up especially if people reduce lighting and other electricity use year round.
Bigger savings of energy will come from having energy efficient appliances, home heating and cooling systems and cars. Recent changes in light bulb technology are catching on and this will also make a very great impact. The new CFL lights cost a little more but they do have an impact on a continuous basis. People need to switch over to them and encourage others to do the same. There are now LED lights becoming available (but still very costly for transition) which convert energy into pure light with no waste and save lots of electric use and money beyond regular energy efficient lighting. These should become prevalent in the next few years as the change over cost hopefully goes down. Individuals and businesses can sign up for getting their electricity from Bullfrog Power which gives them clean electricity at a slightly higher price. Check it out at www.bullfrogpower.com
Big business seems to be ahead of the general consumer on this issue as it is good public relations and reduced energy use means a lot of savings for big energy users.
If you turned out the light for earth hour you deserve to be commended but even more so if you change your lifestyle to use less energy resources every day.
I do wonder about all the candles that were burned during Earth Hour. I would think that they may be part of the problem as carbon is emitted when a candle is burned. Does anyone know how much? Candles are wonderful if used safely but to reduce carbon we should not burn too many at a time.

1 comment:

Murray H. Miskin said...

Actually in the Toronto area electricity use was down over 8% for earth hour and it averaged out to about a 5% reduction for Ontario and about that for all of Canada. Major urban areas where more power was used had the larger percentage drop in power use during earth hour. Earth Hour was a greater success than it first appeared. Earth Day is April 22 be sure to do something positive then too.