FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are being encouraged by the provincial government, NB Power and other utilities to participate in Earth Hour 2012.

The Department of Energy, the Department of Environment and Local Government, Efficiency NB, NB Power, Saint John Energy, Perth-Andover Electric Light Commission and Edmundston Energy are encouraging New Brunswickers to observe Earth Hour 2012.

"On March 31, New Brunswickers can make a difference during Earth Hour by reducing their energy consumption between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.," said Energy Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney. "We encourage you to turn off the lights and unplug your world."

Earth Hour is a global grass-roots movement encouraging individuals, businesses and governments to turn off their lights for one designated hour.

"Earth Hour is the world's largest climate change initiative, and I encourage all New Brunswickers to take this opportunity to think about the energy they use and how they use it," said Bruce Fitch, minister of environment and local government as well as minister responsible for Efficiency NB. "Household activities and everyday behaviours account for 25 per cent of New Brunswick's greenhouse gas emissions. Collectively, small lifestyle changes, such as switching off non-essential lights, can have a huge impact on conservation efforts and better position us to address the effects of climate change. New Brunswickers will be participating at home or through community events throughout the province, and I applaud all of their efforts."

Earth Hour was introduced in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. More than 135 countries and territories participated last year, making 2011 the biggest Earth Hour ever.

"Last year, New Brunswickers showed their support for Earth Hour by reducing their electricity consumption by 24 megawatts for one hour,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and chief executive officer, NB Power. “That is the equivalent to turning out 480,000 lights. Let us aim for 26 megawatts this year by spreading the word to your families, friends and neighbours."

NB Power will report the results on Monday, April 2.

Participating is easy: turn off lights, non-essential appliances and reduce heat settings during Earth Hour. New Brunswickers are reminded that safety comes first: they should ensure that candles or any open flames are not left unattended, in drafty areas or near inflammable objects.


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