It will be a dark time for Summerland as lights are turned off for Earth Hour on March 31.
For one hour beginning at 8:30, people in Summerland and other communities around the world are being encouraged to turn off their lights to raise awareness of energy consumption.
Mayor Janice Perrino said Summerland’s response in the past has been incredible, with many people participating in the initiative.
She said the one-hour event by itself does little to reduce energy use, but it can lead to long-term changes in consumption.
“If we are aware of electricity and what it means, that is a good thing,” she said. “We need to be made aware every now and then.”
In the B.C. Interior, FortisBC is organizing a challenge to encourage people throughout the region to participate.
The contest opened on March 5 and entries must be received by Saturday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time.
The municipality with the highest participation rate will be declared the Earth Hour Cup winning community and their associated organization will receive $5,000 in energy efficiency upgrades.
In Summerland, the Summerland Asset Development Initiative has been named for these upgrades.
In addition, prize winners will be selected by a random draw. The grand prize is a weekend for two at Manteo Resort in Kelowna and a $150 meal credit at the Wild Apple Restaurant and Lounge.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights for one hour.
This year, people in 135 countries are expected to participate.