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South Africans saved 515 MW during Earth Hour

Mar 20 2016 11:01

Table Mountain was among the world famous landmarks that recognise Earth Hour. Others included Beijing’s Forbidden City, the Paris Eiffel Tower, London’s Buckingham Palace, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney’s Opera House and Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue on Sugar Loaf Mountain. (AFP)

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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 environment.

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 evening.

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.

eskom  |  earth hour  |  electricity  |  load shedding


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