Johannesburg – During Earth Hour on Saturday South
Africans saved 350 megawatts of electricity, enough to power Bloemfontein for a whole day, Eskom said on Tuesday.
“As part of its support for the Earth Hour campaign, Eskom measured the reduction in electricity used during the hour against typical consumption for this time on an average Saturday evening,” said spokesperson Hillary Joffe.
This was part of Eskom’s 49M initiative endorsed by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, which encourages South Africans to conserve electricity to “save the planet and save their pockets”.
The name 49M is a reference to South Africa’s population of about 49 million people, and the difference a collective effort on this scale could make in saving power.
“We encourage every South African to lift a finger – which is all it takes to switch off a light when it is not in use,” said Joffe.
Other measures, such as replacing incandescent globes with fluorescent lamps and adjusting geyser thermostats, would also help save hundreds of tonnes of coal used to generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gases, Joffe said.