Measuring the impact that Saturday night’s Earth Hour event had on energy consumption appears to be an electrically-challenged task.
The global event saw millions around the world turn off their lights for an hour starting at 8 p.m., and many cities joined in the effort by darkening major landmarks.
But new figures released by Epcor yesterday reveal that energy consumption actually increased in Edmonton by 2.1 per cent during Earth Hour, contradicting previously released statistics that pointed towards a 1.5 per cent decrease.
Power usage reached 800 MWh during the 60 minutes before Earth Hour, but increased to 817 MWh during the one-hour event, Epcor reported yesterday.
Company spokesman Mike Gibbs cautioned that the figure is virtually meaningless, however, because power usage typically increases as the sun sets.
“We don’t feel looking at that number really tells us anything,” he said. “It’s really comparing apples and oranges.”
A better comparison, he said, is measuring the previous Saturday’s power rates at the same time — which were hovering at 830 MWh. That means the Earth Hour rate was 1.5 per cent lower than the previous Saturday.
Still, Epcor routinely observes variations in power use by up to 10 per cent on any given hour, he said.