The Forces of Darkness


The results are in and Earth Hour 2017 was the best one yet!

Not even close.

Alectra (Formerly PowerStream) released its findings and Aurora saw a reduction of only 4.9%, its worst showing in 6 years.

After reaching its peak of 14.3% in 2011 the town naively set a target of 15% for 2012 which they failed to meet by 4.2%.  A figure that represents almost the entire showing in 2017.

Reviewing the PowerStream archives for the past 10 years clearly shows the Town’s participation in Earth Hour post 2011 is an exercise in diminishing returns.

The following are two charts I built quickly that illustrate the trends forecasting the next 4 years:

Trendline Exponential

Trendline Polynomial


Aurora is not alone in their rejection of this event.

Barrie dropped from 5.4% in 2016 to 1% this year.

Toronto has dropped from 3.5% in 2015 to 3.2% in 2016 to 2.8% this year yet some people, including the Toronto Hydro spokesperson quoted in the article, seem to be denying the obvious saying ” the drop in participation during this year’s event doesn’t mean enthusiasm for the movement is waning”.

Actually, that’s exactly what it means.

Earth Hour has one KPI to measure the one thing it asks.

Just because the numbers don’t support the desired goal doesn’t mean that a spokesperson from Toronto Hydro can just pull out a trump card and start spewing Alternative facts and call Earth Hour a “success”.

If we are to take at face value the claim that “People are actively saving electricity in their everyday lives, so Earth Hour seems to have done a great job in promoting the message,” accepting that Earth Hour has had any impact at all in the net saving of everyday energy consumption the main word here is : done

As in over.

After 10 years of being bombarded with environmental messaging at every turn please show me one Auroran who isn’t “sufficiently aware” of the need for energy management and conservation.

People are consciously choosing not to participate in the symbolic ritual of Earth Hour likely because they can use their efforts in a more meaningful way, which is exactly the approach the Town of Aurora needs to adopt.

Copy and pasted from year to year under “Actions” Achieved” in the progress reports on the town’s Corporate Environmental Action Plan we see listed: Staff participated in WWF’s Earth Hour.

It references Action 2.2.2 : Increase awareness about energy management and conservation programs for facilities 

Participation in Earth Hour clearly doesn’t support Action 2.2.2.

Aurorans are choosing not to be in the dark on this issue and its time the Town stepped into the light and joined them.



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