THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Canada Place and the Harbour Centre tower are pictured just before, top, and during Earth Hour, bottom, in Vancouver in 2012.

Vancouver dimmed its skyline Saturday night in recognition of Earth Hour, promoting decreased energy consumption on the eve of rising hydro rates.

Vancouver improved its reduction in electricity consumption another half-percentage point to 2.1 per cent this year with help from the Vancouver Canucks during Saturday’s home game against Calgary.

“For the first time, we had the NHL pledged to celebrate Earth Hour. The LED lights were turned off outside Rogers Arena during the game,” said Jo Anne Walton, World Wildlife Fund spokeswoman.

British Columbians turned off the equivalent of nine-million light bulbs during Earth Hour with 91 cities and towns participating across the province. Revelstoke took top spot, with a 12.1 per cent reduction in consumption. Second-place Pemberton achieved a 6.8 per cent decrease.

The event helps illustrate how individuals can impact global issues, said Jennifer Young, BC Hydro spokeswoman.

“The idea is to teach people how easy it is to conserve electricity, and by taking those small steps you can effect change,” Young said.

The Earth Hour campaign began in 2007 in Australia and is organized by the WWF with provincial support from BC Hydro.
The movement has since spread to more than 500 Canadian cities and 150 countries worldwide, said Walton.

“It’s a time when we ask people to really take stock of the status of the planet. It’s a time to pledge to make changes in your own life that go beyond the hour,” she said.

The WWF encourages year-round electricity reduction by allowing participants to pledge online and to track their progress by uploading photos, videos and posting success stories.

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