Editorial: Unplug during Earth Hour, or at any time

Earth Hour is today (Saturday, March 24) from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour participation is dropping despite support for conserving energy.

A new report released Friday by BC Hydro finds most British Columbians still think Earth Hour is important despite four years of declining participation.

Earth Hour is Saturday from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. but the results are expected to be dim.

The report entitled “Lights out: Why Earth Hour is dimming in B.C.” found British Columbians reduced their electricity use during Earth Hour by just 0.3 per cent in 2017, or 15 per cent of the savings achieved in 2008.

Related: North Okanagan region responds to Earth Hour

The decline comes despite seven in 10 British Columbians surveyed for the report saying they intend to participate in Earth Hour this year. The findings suggest BC Hydro’s largely hydroelectric generation may account for the lack of participation in Earth Hour. Electricity generation accounts for only one per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C.

The report also found while British Columbians place importance on the environment, it is not the primary driver for them to conserve. At nearly 70 per cent, most British Columbians say their greatest motivation for reducing electricity use is saving money on bills. Only 15 per cent said their primary motivation is the environment.

When asked how much they would need to save on their bills to be motivated to conserve, more than 80 per cent of British Columbians said they would make the changes only if they saved $300 or more. BC Hydro customers who act on 10 no-cost conservation tips, including unplugging a second fridge and lowering the thermostat, can save up to $455 a year on their electricity costs.

See the full list of tips here


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