Earth Hour 2012 - North Cowichan

Residents and businesses in North Cowichan were energy-saving leaders on March 31, as people across British Columbia shut off their electric lights, computers and appliances for Earth Hour.  Out of 91 BC participating communities, North Cowichan achieved the sixth-largest reduction, cutting 4.8% off its energy use during the hour.

These are outstanding results, said Councillor Kate Marsh, Chair of North Cowichans Climate Change Advisory Committee.  A reduction of 4.8% shows that people in North Cowichan really take energy consumption seriously.  This is exactly the kind of engagement we need going forward.  Our committee has been hard at work on developing a Climate Action Plan for the Municipality.  Were eager to have all of the Cowichan Valleys energy savers come and help us.  North Cowichans reduction was more than twice that of Vancouver (2.1%) and three times that achieved by Victoria (1.6%).  Two other Cowichan Valley communities were also among the leaders Ladysmith came in third, at 5.8%, and Duncan was eighth at 4.1%.

Clearly, noted Peter Nilsen, North Cowichans Assistant Municipal Engineer and Energy Manager, with three communities in the top eight for the whole province, the people of the Cowichan Valley are ready to lead the way in energy conservation.

The Climate Change Advisory Committee will hold the second in a series of public consultation workshops at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in the Theatre (Room 140), Vancouver Island University, 2011 University Way, Duncan, BC.  The workshop will include presentations and small group discussions on proposed implementation strategies for North Cowichans Climate Action and Energy Plan.  The Committee also hosts an internet exchange where residents are sharing ideas for saving energy and slowing climate change.

During Earth Hour, British Columbians saved 121 megawatt hours of electricity, reducing their electricity demand by 1.67%.  The eastern town of Revelstoke topped the province with a 12.1% reduction; Pemberton, in the mountains just north of Vancouver, came in second at 6.8%.

Earth Hour, a worldwide annual event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, has been supported provincially by BC Hydro for five years now.  It encourages people to turn off lights, electronic devices and appliances to demonstrate what impact individuals can have simply by monitoring their energy use.  BC Hydro hopes to meet at least two-thirds of the provinces new electricity demand during this decade through conservation and energy efficiency.