Earth hour participants (from WWF online)

Earth hour participants (from WWF online)

Lights left on in Langley during Earth Hour

Declining interest in annual energy conservation campaign

Fewer residents of Langley Township and Langley City turned off their lights during Earth Hour on Saturday night (March 26), according to figures released by B.C. Hydro.

In the Township, power consumption dropped 1.34 per cent during the annual turn-out-the-lights event, less than the 2.1 per cent reduction recorded during the previous year.

The figure for Langley City was lower.

In fact, it was the worst in Metro Vancouver at .99 per cent, down substantially from the previous year’s reduction of 2.6 per cent.

The numbers for the Langleys are also worse than they were in 2009, when the Township posted a 2.1 per cent drop to outperform the city’s 1.8 per cent reduction.

Township environmental co-ordinator Ryan Schmidt said even a small percentage can make a big difference financially.

“In a typical year, our citizens spend over $61 million on electricity” Schmidt observed.

“Saving 1.34% of this would result in keeping over $820,000 in our community available for other things … it would also decrease our community’s dependence on, and financial exposure to, a commodity that is expected to increase in price by over 30 per cent over the next three years.”

Province-wide, conservation actually improved, with B.C. residents collectively reducing their demand for electricity by 1.8 per cent, up from 1.04 per cent the year before.

Pitt Meadows topped the province with a 5.7 per cent reduction.

West Kelowna and Williams Lake were the worst, with savings of 0.11 per cent.

From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. British Columbians saved 117 megawatt hours of electricity, equivalent to turning off 7.8 million 15-watt compact fluorescent bulbs.

— with files from Jeff Nagel/Black Press