Lights out, everyone!

Saturday night is Earth Hour. Power down along with students at Surrey's Clayton Heights Secondary.

Students at Clayton Heights Secondary are reminding Surrey residents to turn off the lights on Saturday.

March 31 is the sixth annual Earth Hour. At 8:30 p.m., participants turn off the lights, and switch “off” for an hour. The goal is to reduce energy consumption and to raise awareness.

That means shutting off lights, powering down computers, and unplugging chargers and other electronic devices. Last year, more than 5,200 cities in 135 countries took part in this global initiative.

Activities at Clayton Heights include raising awareness by turning off classroom lights for an hour this Friday, starting at 1:30 p.m., according to Grade 12 student Nalin Dhillon, who’s helping spread the word.

British Columbia Earth Hour organizers WWF and partner BC Hydro are asking people to use the 2012 event as the push needed to take steps to save energy all year.

If everyone in B.C. repeated their Earth Hour performance for 365 days, the resulting energy savings would be enough to power nearly 2,200 homes for a year.

Businesses are also asked to participate.

Suggested Earth Hour activities for Individuals and families include going outside to gaze at the stars, hosting a candlelit dinner, or camping out with the kids on the living room floor.

Year-round, B.C.ers can take simple conservation steps like hanging clothes to dry, turning down the heat, and buying ‘Energy Star’ products and appliances.

Last year, B.C. residents cut the provincial electricity load by 1.8 percent during Earth Hour.

Results varied across the province. Pitt Meadows led the way (in darkness, presumably) with a 5.70 per recent energy reduction. Kitimat and Whistler (both at 4.35 per cent) weren’t far behind. Surrey, however, was closer to the middle of the fair-to-middling pack at 1.50 per cent.

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