Western to power down for World Earth Hour

By Stefanie De Adder
March 21, 2013

This weekend, Western will join the world in turning turn out the lights this weekend.

Launched in 2007, World Earth Hour takes place from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 wherever you are on the planet. Billed as the single largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world, Earth Hour 2013 again asks every person, business and city to turn their lights out and reduce their energy consumption for one hour.

In 2012, Earth Hour celebrated its largest event to date with more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories switching off their lights and cutting back on energy consumption. This year, it is anticipated the event will become even larger.

“Everyone within the Western community can participate in this great initiative,” said Beverley Ayeni, Western’s energy and environment manager. “Since most staff, students and faculty will be at home at this time, the simplest thing that everyone can do is light some candles and turn out the lights.”

For the hour, Western Environmental System (WES) Control group will be shutting off all non-essential air handling units on campus to cut back on energy consumption.

“Using UWO reservations information, we can see when most areas on campus will be occupied or unoccupied,” said Dan Larkin, WES control systems specialist. “We shut off heating pumps and fans to areas that are projected to be unoccupied as long as outdoor conditions are not extremely cold.”

The effects of this shut down are rarely significant enough to be felt by individuals if the room does become occupied, especially if the shut down only lasts for one hour.

Caretaking and Hospitality Services staff will also be encouraged to ensure all lights are shut off in unoccupied areas on campus.

Additionally, communications have been sent out to all residence students to ensure that they are adopting energy-saving tips and tricks.

“By shutting the blinds at home and at work, smaller amounts of energy will be spent on keeping areas warm,” Ayeni said. “Another great way to conserve energy is to make sure that all computers and printers are turned off when they are not in use.”

Visit sustainability.uwo.ca for more information.


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