Cape Town - South Africans saved 515 MW during Earth Hour on
Saturday night, Eskom said on Sunday.
South Africans joined billions of people across the globe by
switching off the lights from 20:30 to 21:30 in an annual initiative to create
climate change awareness and encourage people to do their bit for the
Earth Hour was first initiated by the WWF in 2007 in Sydney.
It has grown into the world’s largest environmental awareness initiative,
attracting participation from over 41 910 cities and towns across 172 countries
on seven continents, including around 10 400 landmarks.
“Earth Hour reminds us that while people are on the
frontlines of climate change, they are also our first line of defence,” said
Siddarth Das, Executive Director, Earth Hour Global in a statement.
People are encouraged to switch off lights and unused
appliances for an hour as a symbolic demonstration of their commitment to
action against climate change.
Eskom said in a statement as part of its support for the
Earth Hour campaign that it measured the reduction in electricity used during
the hour against typical consumption for the same period on an average Saturday
The power utility urged consumers to take action beyond this
one hour and to make energy efficiency and environmental conservation part of
their daily lifestyles.
Eskom, which last year battled to meet electricity demand
amid a funding shortfall, has managed to stave off load shedding for more than
seven months now, and it said it expects no load shedding for the rest of the
summer going into autumn and winter.
"We will continue with a rigorous programme of planned
maintenance without implementing load shedding while also minimising the usage
of open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs)."
Consumers will pay 9.4% more for electricity from April 1.
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