Salmo beat out Rossland, others, in Earth Hour competition

Rossland had a somewhat dismal effort when compared to some other Kootenay communities in the Earth Hour challenge.

Rossland had a somewhat dismal effort when compared to some other Kootenay communities in the Earth Hour challenge that took place last Saturday.

To participate residents had to pledge to turn off power and electronics over the course of an hour on Saturday.

The village of Salmo dominated the competition, surpassing the 100 per cent pledge per capita mark in the process. Kaslo and Crawford Bay were close behind with 96 per cent.

Rossland was near the bottom with a rate of only six per cent, though that was pretty good when compared to other West Kootenay cities, like Trail, with only 1 per cent and Castlegar with almost 3 per cent.

The competition was open to  cities and towns in the Okanagan and Kootenays , with a goal of reducing electricity use over the course of  one hour on Saturday, March 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

FortisBC sponsored the Earth Hour challenge, calling it one of the largest environmental campaigns  for the fourth consecutive year.

They encouraged the residents of the 17 communities to make a pledge to switch off all non-essential lighting, appliances and electronics.

“We credit the success of this year’s Earth Hour Challenge to the tremendous leadership shown by the participating communities and non-profit organizations,” Tom Loski, from FortisBC, said.

“They reached residents in their communities by engaging businesses, schools, libraries, recreation centres and more in the effort to spread the word about Earth Hour. FortisBC congratulates all of the communities for their                                                                     efforts.”

By collecting the most pledges, per capita, Salmo earns not only  bragging rights, but a $5,000 energy upgrade for the Salmo Public Library, their designated 2012 non-profit recipient.

The Rossland Council of Arts and Culture was hoping Rossland could pull together to win the $5,000 to do an upgrade to the Miners’ Hall, which is in need of some maintenance.

In total, over 6000 pledges to participate were registered with FortisBC, a record-setting number that is more than triple from last year.

This level of engagement resulted in a 1.7 per cent drop in electricity consumption, or 5.48 megawatts during Earth Hour, that’s equal to switching off approximately 90,000 60W incandescent light bulbs and represents an increase of 1.9 megawatts or 30,000 light bulbs over last year.

Since its inception in 1989, FortisBC’s PowerSense program has helped southern interior electricity customers save more than 425 gigawatt hours , enough electricity to power over 32,000 homes for a year.

As well, through its three-year, $80-million energy efficiency and conservation program, FortisBC will help natural gas customers eliminate more than 775,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, saving a total of 15.5 million gigajoules – enough natural gas for about 155,000 homes annually.

 

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