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BC town to plunge into darkness and silence for Earth Hour

HARTLEY BAY (NEWS1130) – Every year, BC cities and towns enter a friendly competition, to see which can make the deepest cuts in electricity consumption during Earth Hour.

One tiny community on the central coast doesn’t compete, yet it consistently ends up in first place.

Hartley Bay doesn’t qualify for the competition, because it’s not on BC Hydro’s grid. The village relies on a diesel-generator for its electricity, and it simply gets unplugged for Earth Hour, plunging everyone in darkness and silence, in the absence of the generator’s constant drone.

“So it cuts down not only the air pollution but also the noise pollution. We are totally reliant on diesel generation right now,” explains Hartley Bay Band Councillor Cameron Hill.

He says many of the 150 villagers use the occasion to socialize.

“In the past we’ve gotten together at our cultural centre and we’ve had coffee and sandwiches to enjoy everyone’s company. It’s quite the social event.”

He says they’re looking at a future when the community will be able to harness power from a run-of-river hydro project.