5.5 per cent drop in electricity use during Earth Hour in Sylvan

Power consumption dropped by 717 kW during Earth Hour on Mar. 29, according to FortisAlberta.

Power consumption dropped by 717 kW during Earth Hour on Mar. 29, according to FortisAlberta.

In a media advisory issued last Wednesday, the company said Sylvan Lake’s total electricity consumption between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Mar. 29 was 12,282 kW while the previous Saturday the total was 12,999 kW.

“Sylvan Lake’s energy savings during Earth Hour was 717 kW (based on a comparison of the two days) which is equivalent to powering 47,800 15W CFL light bulbs or 797 houses for an hour.”

That’s a 5.5 percent decrease. A comparison of temperatures for the two days showed -11°C on Mar. 22 and -4°C on Mar. 29.

“Your community ranks 21st when compared to other communities in FortisAlberta’s service territory in regards to largest percentage of electricity reduction between Mar. 22 and Mar. 29,” stated the release from Jennifer Yip, a program specialist in energy efficiency with FortisAlberta.

She indicated small changes can make a huge difference. The total electricity saved during Earth Hour in the communities surveyed was enough electricity to power three per cent of Alberta households for an hour.

Several tips for improving energy efficiency include:

● turn off lights when you leave the room;

● replace conventional lights with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) which are 75 times more energy efficient.

● Use reading lamps when you need a small amount of light instead of overhead lights for the entire room.

● unplug phone chargers, computers and other electronics when not in use as they continue to use electricity. Seventy-five per cent of electricity used to power electronics is used while they are turned off but still plugged in. Use a power bar that can easily be shut off.

● use Energy Star appliances and electronics which use 30 to 50 per cent less energy.

● once a year, clean or dust the coils at the back of your refrigerator to help the compressor cool faster and run more efficiently, as well as extend the life of your appliance.

● unplug seldom-used appliances such as that old second fridge in the basement.

● run your dishwasher only once it is full, and air-dry the dishes once the washing cycle is done.

● use a microwave or toaster oven to cook or warm leftovers. You can save up to 30 per cent of the energy required to cook in a conventional oven.

For more energy efficiency tips, visit www.fortisalberta.com.