Oshawa residents responded to the Earth Hour challenge by reducing the demand for electricity this past Saturday evening from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Oshawa’s demand for electricity dropped 6.84 per cent or 10 megawatts during the one hour worldwide initiative, compared to Ontario’s drop of approximately 4 per cent or 560 megawatts as reported by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
The Earth Hour initiative began in Sydney, Australia in 2008 when 2.2 million residents pledged to turn off their lights for one hour to focus attention on climate change. In 2009, Earth Hour reached 1 billion people in 4,088 cities and towns in 88 countries, setting a record for the largest public demonstration for action on climate change.
This year, the City of Oshawa hosted its first Earth Hour special event at UOIT. Working with community partner the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities, the City offered a free screening of the documentary, Home, during Earth Hour, which was very well received. Participating in Earth Hour demonstrates Oshawa’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and illustrates how small conservation efforts can add up to substantial energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.