FortisBC sees 1% drop during Earth Hour
More people promised to conserve energy in FortisBC’s service area during Earth Hour this year, but fewer apparently did, according to figures released by the company.
Energy consumption dropped about one per cent, or 2.93 megawatts, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to spokeswoman Nicole Bogdanovic.
Last year the decrease was just over two per cent, or 6.38 megawatts. However, a contest to see which community could commit to saving the most energy saw an 80 per cent increase in overall pledges.
“We were perplexed,” Bogdanovic says. “We don’t know why there’s such a discrepancy. Our feeling was a lot more people were engaged with this.”
She says because they are dealing with small percentages, there is a margin of error, and the results can also be weather-dependent.
“At the same time, we’re still happy to have a measurable result, and we’re excited about the level of reponse we got with the pledges, given that this is mostly an awareness campaign.”
She says the consumption drop is measured against the same time on a comparable Saturday, typically the previous one.
Based on the pledges, Kaslo and Crawford Bay residents were among the most energy conscious per capita. A little over six per cent of residents in those communities signed up to take part in the one-hour event to shut off all lights and appliances.
Only Keremeos had a higher number, at just over seven per cent, and in doing so won a $5,000 energy savings upgrade for its Legion branch.
Rossland was third, just a tad behind Kaslo and Crawford Bay — who were grouped together — followed by Penticton, Castlegar, and Summerland.
Each of those communities wins a $100 energy saving package. In Kaslo and Crawford Bay’s case, the beneficiary will be the North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society.
The Slocan Valley, Salmo, and Nelson finished further down the list. Nelson was included in the contest, even though residents do not get their power directly from Fortis.
Nelson Hydro is still gathering data from Earth Hour and expects to have it today or tomorrow.