SA saved 400 MW during Earth Hour
By: Creamer Media Reporter
30th March 2009
South Africans who participated in Earth Hour on Saturday saved about 400 MW of electricity, 400 t of carbon dioxide, 224 t of coal and about 576 000 l of water, power utility Eskom reported on Monday.
Earth Hour was organised by the World Wildlife Fund in an effort to get one-billion people worldwide to switch off their lights for one hour.
“The 400 MW translates to about four-million 100 W bulbs or 6,7-million 60 W bulbs switched off on Saturday. This shows a concerted effort by about one-million households,” said Eskom MD corporate services and Eskom climate change champion Dr Steve Lennon.
Lights on average consumed about 10% of household electricity, whereas geysers used as much as 40% of the total electricity bill, commented Lennon, highlighting the difference that could have been made if South Africans had also turned off their geysers during Earth Hour.
“We believe that the Earth Hour initiative has created incredible excitement around the need for efficient use of energy. As South Africa’s primary supplier of electricity, our hope is that all South Africans harness this excitement and use energy wisely every day of the year,” said Lennon.
City of Johannesburg member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment Prema Naidoo also on Monday applauded the Earth Hour initiative.
“We hope that this symbolic gesture has demonstrated to the world that people everywhere are concerned about this issue, and are willing to act,” he commented.
Naidoo expressed the need for people to take action against climate change and global warning now, saying that it hoped government’s National Energy Efficiency Campaign would be supported by every individual, business and energy player.
“Here in South Africa, we have unique reasons to be concerned about the energy issue. It is not widely understood that the production of electricity produces enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases. As a result of our habits of energy wastage, we have become the eleventh highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the world, he said.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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