Lights out for Earth Hour

Summerlanders are urged to turn off the lights later this month for Earth Hour, a global initiative to raise awareness of energy use.

Summerlanders are urged to turn off the lights later this month for Earth Hour, a global initiative to raise awareness of energy use.

On Saturday, March 23 from 8:30 to 9:30, residents are urged to turn off their lights and appliances.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the energy savings during Earth Hour are not significant, but the awareness of energy use can lead to long-term behaviour changes.

“It changes people’s attitudes about the use of electricity,” she said.

Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million people participated as a way to take a stand against climate change.

Summerland has participated in Earth Hour for several years, but participation has been low in the community.

Still, Perrino believes the annual event could lead to a reduction in electricity consumption.

“If we can just start the momentum of change,” she said, “we’ll keep going in the right direction.”

Julie McGuire, long range planner and climate action coordinator for Summerland, said the individual effects of turning off the lights and appliances for an hour is low, but if many people participate, the reduction in power becomes noticeable.

“As a worldwide initiative, it can have an impact,” she said. “One person can make a difference.”