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Enthusiasm wanes for Earth Hour in Toronto

Several Toronto landmarks went dark tonight for Earth Hour, but Toronto Hydro says overall enthusiasm for the event has waned so much in recent years that they won’t supply numbers for energy use declines for this year’s event.

Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tori Gass says the electricity company only saw a two per cent drop in energy consumption during Earth Hour last year, which was so insignificant that Toronto Hydro found it difficult to attribute it to the event.ย 

While that might sound disappointing, Gass says it’s actually encouraging.

“We see people conserving electricity in their everyday lives,” she told CBC Toronto. “Earth Hour was sort of a trigger to get people thinking about it, and it has really done its job, and it has done its job well.”

Even at its peak in its inaugural year, Toronto Hydro only saw a 15 per cent decrease in energy consumption during Earth Hour, but since then energy use in the city overall has dropped by significant amounts.

Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tori Gass

Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tori Gass says last year’s drop in electricity use during Earth Hour was so insignificant that Toronto Hydro found it difficult to attribute to the event. (CBC)

Between 2006 and 2017, Toronto Hydro says 2,300 gigawatt hours of electricity have been saved in the city, which is enough energy to power 780 large condos.

“That’s huge savings that we’re seeing,” Gass added. “While it’s not happening in that one hour as much in Toronto, we’re seeing it happen every day.”ย 

Toronto Hydro says enough people are turning off their appliances, switching to LED lights and switching to energy-efficient devices that saving energy is second nature to most.

“One hour is not as significant anymore because it’s happening every day,” Gass added. “They’re just living this, and they’re living Earth Hour every day of their lives.”

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