Today’s Poll

Turn out the lights, let darkness reign (for one hour)

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
March 26th, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Millions of people from more than 92 countries around the world — including thousands of people from the West Kootenay — will turn out their lights today for Earth Hour.


The City of Nelson and Nelson Hydro will arrange to shut off almost all lighting at City-owned facilities and buildings, as well as Baker Street decorative lighting, walkway lighting, park lighting, power plant lights, substation lights and are encouraging customers to switch off, or unplug non-essential electricity today from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.


FortisBC is again sponsoring an Earth Hour Community Challenge to encourage customers to pledge that they will turn off all non-essential lighting, appliances and electronics in their homes and businesses. 


Pledge your participation

Homeowners and businesses can pledge their participation by visiting the FortisBC website at or by calling FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847. 


Everyone who makes the formal pledge to turn off non-essential electricity during Earth Hour will be entered to win a weekend getaway at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna and increase their community’s chances to win a $5,000 energy savings upgrade for a worthy non-profit organization in their community — which in Nelson’s case is the Nelson Cares Society.  

The City of Nelson and Nelson Hydro are challenging all customers to participate in Earth Hour, improve on last year’s energy consumption reduction of three per cent, and to register their pledge for FortisBC’s Earth Hour Community Challenge for the opportunity of winning the $5,000 energy savings upgrade for the Nelson Cares Society. 

If you have any questions, call the Nelson Hydro administration line at 352-8240. More information on how to participate can be found at

Provincially speaking

To show its support, the provincial government will turn off the legislature’s outdoor lights and monitors and equipment in government buildings will be shut down.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

Hosted globally by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), last year’s Earth Hour saw provincewide electrical power consumption drop during those 60 minutes by one per cent, equivalent to turning off about 1.4 million lights. 

Why it matters

Conserving electricity is an important step in response to climate change. BC Hydro reports if everyone who participated last year turned off their unnecessary lights and appliances for just one hour every evening, the combined savings would be enough to power close to 2,200 homes for an entire year.

Quick facts

• The Government of B.C. supports conservation and clean energy development.

• B.C.’s public sector is poised to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint (called carbon neutral).

• Nearly $75 million has been invested for schools, hospitals, universities, colleges and other public sector organizations to reduce fuel use, save money and cut carbon pollution.

• The Innovative Clean Energy Fund has provided $60 million for 41 projects across B.C. that use technologies in areas like solar, geothermal, tidal, wind and bioenergy.

• Homeowner incentives are offered through the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program.

• More than 10 million Canadians turned out the lights in over 300 cities and towns in 2010. 

• Burns Lake residents stood out as B.C.’s most ardent Earth Hour participants last year by decreasing their consumption by seven per cent.

• Vancouver tops the WWF’s 2011 Earth Hour list of Canadian cities, leading the battle against climate change.

Learn more

15 tips (things you can do for free):

52 tips (some may cost money):

LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program:

WWF Earth Hour Canada website:

BC Hydro’s Earth Hour page:

BC Climate Action for the 21st Century:


Help the Whole

Fortis BC has issued a challenge to local communities, and if Slocan Valley residents make a non-monetary online pledge to shut off their lights for an hour on March 26, the Vallican Whole Community Centre can win up to $5,000 badly needed energy upgrades. 

Imagine, no lighting the community hall five hours before a community event (because there is a new energy efficient air source heat pump), and imagine fewer of our hard-fundraised dollars going out the windows and doors of The Vallican Whole in energy bills.

Imagine a planet with fewer fossil fuels spent on the care and feeding of a much loved community building in the heart of the Slocan Valley. 

All you have to do is make an online pledge to turn off your lights between 8:30  and 9:30 p.m. on March 26.

This a competition between communities, not between organizations in the Slocan Valley, so even if you don’t frequent The Vallican Whole, your community will benefit from your pledge.

Please make your pledge by 4 p.m., March 25 at and indicate you are from the Slocan Valley.

Go to for more details about The Whole.


Categories: General

Other News Stories