Call for continuation of Earth Hour ethos

Eirgrid today urged households and offices to adopt aspects of yesterday’s Earth Hour ethos into their everyday lives by embracing energy saving measures.

Public buildings as well as homes and businesses were plunged into darkness between 8pm and 9pm yesterday in support of the international initiative to promote awareness of climate change.

Eirgrid reported a reduction of 50 megawatts during the three hour period from 6.30-9.30pm.

A spokesman explained: “One megawatt is equivalent to the approximate use of 650 domestic homes.

“Generating one megawatt for one hour using the mix of normal generation would cause emissions of approx 400 kilogrammes of CO2.”

Eirgrid called on domestic and commercial users to intensify energy awareness and efficiency initiatives.

The Power of One initiative by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources already urges the switching off of non-essential lighting and removing plugs from sockets at night.

Eirgrid recommended the following measures:

:: Change to CFL or LED light bulbs;

:: Ensure new appliances are as efficient as possible;

:: Switch off computer monitors when not in use;

:: Don’t leave your mobile phone charger plugged in when not in use as it can use power even when the handset is not being charged;

:: Don’t use dishwashers or washing machines during weekday evenings (5-7pm);

:: Don’t leave your immersion water heater on all the time. Use a timer and lagging jacket insulation;

:: Clean your light fittings, reflectors and lampshades regularly.

Yesterday’s Earth Hour was supported by Galway and Limerick City Councils as well as 15 town and county councils around the country.

In Dublin, lights went out for the hour at the Customs House, Four Courts, Aras an Uachtarain, the courtyard in Government buildings and Leinster House.

Patrons at Dublin’s Four Seasons restaurant dined by candlelight to mark Earth Hour.

Other cities involved in this year’s global campaign included Chicago, Sydney, Manila, Dubai, Exeter and San Francisco.

Astronomy Ireland set up high-powered telescopes in the Phoenix Park to allow people to take advantage of the night sky, normally swamped by bright city lights.

The first Earth Hour took place in Sydney last year with more than two million people taking part.

It is designed to highlight the wastefulness of non-essential lighting and promote awareness of climate change.

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