Congratulations Sydney! Earth Hour 2007 results

Posted on 01 April 2007  | 

More than 2 million Sydney residents joined Earth Hour on Saturday March 31 between 7.30 and 8.30 by flicking the switch, turning appliances off stand-by and enjoying an hour of quiet darkness, according to poll results.

Residents and businesses across the city showed their support for Earth Hour resulting in an impressive 10.2% drop in energy usage across the usually glittering CBD, according to Energy Australia.

This is double the anticipated energy saving and represents a reduction of 24.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for an hour.

"The overwhelming support for Earth Hour from Sydneysiders and from many communities across the country has amazed us and shows the willingness of both business and individuals to start cutting emissions," said WWF-Australia National Communications Manager Andy Ridley.

Polling company AMR Interactive surveyed close to 1000 Sydney residents and found 57% participated in Earth Hour by either switching off lights, turning off computers, televisions and other household appliances.

Energy Australia's Retail General Manager Tim O'Grady said the success of Earth Hour was evidenced in the energy savings made between 7.30 and 8.30 pm on Saturday night.

"People really got behind the cause and showed they care about global warming. We originally thought 5% would be a good result but this is more than double that - an exceptional result."

Leading into the event over 65,000 individuals were registered and over 2,000 businesses.

"We are thrilled with the participation and energy reduction results on the night which have been greatly exceeded our original expectations," Mr Ridley said.

"It shows Sydney is committed to reduce the threats linked to global warming and we hope Sydneysiders have proved by acting together we can start to make a difference."

Earth Hour was initiated by WWF-Australia and is the start of an ambitious campaign to cut Sydney's greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by March 2008.

Key stats
  • Of 937 Sydney residents surveyed by AMR Interactive, 57% had participated in Earth Hour by either switching off their lights (53%), turning off their computer (25%), turning off a household appliance (25%) or turning off the television (17%).
  • According to Energy Australia, for the hour between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on 31 March 2007, there was a 10.2% reduction in electricity consumption across the Sydney CBD. This is calculated as follows: Sydney CBD temperature during Earth Hour was 19.8c. Typical energy consumption at this temperature between 7.30 and 8.30 is 228,180 KWh. Actual electricity consumption in the Sydney CBD at this time was 204,900 KWh. Energy Australia analysed data over 4 years to get the typical consumption on a Saturday night in the CBD during March and April. This takes into account daylight savings and weather.
  • The energy saving during Earth Hour is equivalent to taking 48,613 cars off the road for one hour, or 200,000 standard televisions turned off for one hour. This represents a saving of 24.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Integral Energy manages the network covering Greater Western Sydney, The Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra. According to their Corporate Environment Manager, Denise Corish, their data showed that Earth Hour definitely had an effect. "Major substations in residential areas across western Sydney and also in parts of the Illawarra showed a noticeable drop in load between 7.15pm and 8.00pm, more than we would expect on a similar Saturday night. We noticed a steep decline in the first five minutes of Earth Hour, between 7.30 and 7.35pm, equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 6,500 homes."
  • 30% of businesses on the ASX100 committed to Earth Hour
  • Over 2,000 businesses were committed to Earth Hour, some of the highlights include:
    • AGL offset greenhouse gas emissions for 180,000 NSW electricity customers for Earth Hour for the entire 24 hours of 31 March.
    • Coca-cola sign at Kings Cross was switched off intentionally for the first time since the 1970s.
    • Woolworths had a high level of staff awareness and dimmed lights in over 200 sites across Sydney. This included over 100 supermarkets, 60 liquor stores and 40 electronic stores.
    • Many Sydney icons were switched off for the hour including the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House sails and the Luna Park face.
    • 90 McDonalds golden arches turned off across Sydney
    • Investa Property Group, a 3CBDs signatory, had 30 of its buildings that it manages participate in Earth Hour. This is equivalent to 500,000m2 or approx 50,000 lights. A large proportion of tenants regularly lead the way by turning off on Saturday nights.
    • The Rockpool restaurant turned off all lights within the restaurant and kitchen except for four above the stove for safety and held a full house candlelit dinner (110 people). In total they turned off close to 300 lights.
    • Commonwealth Bank turned off all lights and signage in 17 office buildings in the three CBD's of Sydney. They also turned lights off in 30 Sydney branches. Earth Hour was promoted nationally to 35,000 staff, with 1000 staff registering support.
    • The City of Sydney had 283 buildings participate in Earth Hour with a floor area of 398,776m2. This is approx 99,700 lights (allowance of 1 luminare/4 m2 for internal only) and external & facade lights at Sydney Town Hall, Town Hall House, Customs House, Paddington Town Hall, 540 George Street plus a number of other smaller sites.
    • The Asset Management Services division of Jones Lang LaSalle manage office towers on behalf of The GPT Group, DB RREEF, Lend Lease, APPFC, Macquarie Office Fund, QIC, GIC and AMP & Multiplex Capital. Excellent results were recorded at Darling Park, MLC Centre, Chifley Tower, Australia Square, Citigroup Centre and HSBC Centre where 98% of tenants participated in Earth Hour, which equates to approx 462,000m2.

    For a full list of businesses that took part in Earth Hour visit earthhour.org

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