One hour of conservation urged
Last modified on Sunday, 21 October 2007 12:27
Residents of greater Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara, California are turning off their lights for one hour on Saturday evening from 8:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time in an state-wide organized effort to promote saving energy. The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the San Francisco area and Los Angeles International Airport also will go dark, aside from essential lighting required for safety purposes. Hundreds of City and County building lights will also be switched off for the one-hour period.
California public officials have launched the conservation effort as a Lights-Out event similar to one that took place in Sydney, Australia last March. In the Australian event 2.2 million people turned off their lights for one hour and reduced the entire country’s use of electricity by 10 percent. Southern California Edison Power is also encouraged the Lights-Out campaign as part of its partnership with ENERGY STAR's Change a Light, Change the World campaign, which encourages customers to change at least one regular light bulb for an ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.
Robert Rozanski, the acting General Manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), said that even if only 1.4 million DWP customers turned off their lights for one hour, enough energy could be saved to power 2,500 homes for an entire year. The power reduction use also helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced by power plants by an estimated 25 tons, which is the equivalent of taking almost 49,000 cars off the road for one hour. Southern California Edison’s Senior Vice President, Lynda Ziegler, also said that "We're asking customers to turn off one incandescent light bulb Saturday evening, and when turning it back on, replace it with a CFL bulb. Taking this simple step will help protect the environment and contribute to issues surrounding climate change."
California State officials believe that if every California household replaced 5 incandescent bulbs with 5 CFL bulbs, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions at levels equal to taking 400,000 cars off the road. That’s a lot of cars. Southern California Edison has been providing a rebate to manufacturers and major retailers who pass CFL bulb purchase savings along to their customers and indicated that in the past year it has distributed nearly 9 million CFL bulbs, with a calculated energy savings of nearly 330 million kilowatt hours.