Earth Hour more than just turning off the lights

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Ontarians are enthusiastic about Earth Hour 2009, and are planning to mark the hour by turning out more than just their lights, said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

The IESO's survey found that 55 per cent of all those who intended or were willing to participate in this year's event will turn off TVs and appliances, and 92 per cent will turn off at least three lights in their home.

The online poll, conducted from March 3-5, showed that 51 per cent of survey participants intend to participate in the initiative this year. The survey results further indicate that those planning to participate in Earth Hour 2009 were more likely to already demonstrate better energy-saving habits at home.

"During last year's Earth Hour, the IESO observed a significant reduction in Ontario's electricity demand," said Paul Murphy, IESO President and CEO.

"The momentum for Earth Hour is building, and Ontarians are prepared to reduce their electricity use again this year. I am encouraged that Ontarians are finding ways to conserve electricity year-round, which will benefit consumers, the environment and the electricity system."

Earth Hour is an annual international "lights out" event led by WWF with the goal of having as many individuals and businesses as possible turn off their lights for one hour to support action on climate change. This year, the IESO is hosting a dedicated webpage at with tips, Earth Hour information, and a graph that will track Ontario's change in demand for the hour.

"Last year Earth Hour was a huge success! Millions of people in more than 30 countries participated. Here in Canada, almost half of all Canadians turned off the lights," said Christina Topp, VP Marketing and Communications, WWF-Canada. "This year we hope even more Canadians will participate and we're pleased to see that so many Ontarians plan to take part."

The survey was completed by 806 respondents. It was administered online, and is considered accurate to +/-3.5%, 19 times out of 20.


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