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Does the recent Earth-hour event staged over the week-end actually save money? When the event occurs there is a major drop in energy consumption at the start but isn't there also a spike when everyone turns items back on at the end of the hour?

  • Good question. In addition, can I stage my own Earth Hour each weekend and see any savings on my electricity bill? – MrChrister Mar 30 '10 at 16:49
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    @MrChrister: yes you can, but the amount will likely be pretty small. To better effect would be to replace power-hungry appliances and watch for vampire loads (i.e. things on standby) than to sit in the dark for an hour a week. – sdg Mar 30 '10 at 17:59
  • I never knew there was such a thing as "Earth hour". My God. This video accurately reflect my feeling on such topics: (youtube.com/watch?v=7W33HRc1A6c&feature=related) – Muro Mar 26 '11 at 22:57
  • Is this on-topic for the site? – Alex B Dec 2 '11 at 16:16
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Earth hour isn't about saving money or the environment. It is just a feel-good publicity stunt.

  • very true, but I think the question still deserves someone having a stab at an answer. nothing wrong with trying to quantify an approximate figure. – Anonymous Type Nov 8 '10 at 23:23
  • Let's see. If your house uses 2000 watts, then you'll save 2 kilowatt hours by turning it off for an hour. Thats maybe worth US$0.10-0.25 on your energy bill (see below). Do you buy anything when you go out, or burn a fossil fuel :-) ? If so, you probably have a net loss. See eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/… – Paul Mar 27 '11 at 9:08
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I agree with JohnFx on that not being about saving money and being a publicity stunt.

But I also the main benefit of it is raising awareness of environmental issues and a incentive to saving electricity.

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I agree with all of the answers, but knowing the amount of money saved will give new ideas to use this money to help develope new concepts that will help humanity.

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Zephyr,

Did you see something specific regarding a claim of money saved through observance of the Earth Hour event? The organisers maintain it is about raising awareness of climate change issues - I can't find anything from them regarding saving money/have never seen anything.

You could take the claims regarding drops in national-level energy consumption and the decrease in use of various items/devices etc etc and work out a financial savings of a sort - ie. add together "energy not used x average kilowatt cost", "fuel saved through non-use of vehicles x average price per litre", etc etc and so on. But it would be wild wild guesses littered with assumptions - I seriously doubt you could work up a credible figure.

Which is why I don't think the organisers make claims regarding money (please correct me if you saw something from them that stated otherwise) - they tend to stick to the "awareness" mantra.

Regarding your second question, I think you'll find there is some consensus that large-scale downturns followed by large-scale upturns in electricity consumption is not environmentally friendly. The Telegraph is a good read on this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7527469/Earth-Hour-will-not-cut-carbon-emissions.html (To be honest, the Telegraph's article is a good summary of the entire concept of Earth Day.)

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