Despite the terrible hazards to the global environment of using candles this Saturday, no doubt some people will still choose to use them. If you still use candles, at least don’t switch off your fridge.
Your refridgerator, freezer, thermostat-controlled heater, or heat pump are designed to turn themselves on and off as they need to, to maintain a certain temperature. If you turn these appliances off during Earth Hour, they will consume no power then. But the freezer will slowly heat up over that hour, and your house will slowly cool down. When you switch them on after the hour they will all switch on at once and have to work extra hard to make up for the hour they were not able to run for. Total electricity consumption will be about the same, except it will all come in a peak when they are all turned back on.
The same goes for appliances with batteries (cellphones, laptop computers etc). They too will use more power after earth hour if you just switch the charger off at the wall for that hour.
You may choose not to use your washing machine during earth hour. But you still have the same amount of clothes to wash. Unless you do them by hand, you’ll just use more power after Earth Hour.
What does this mean for the electricity network? There will be a drop in power usage from 8:30 – 9:30pm on Saturday night. Then a peak afterwards when everything is switched on again. About the same amount of electricity will be used all up, unless the peak load blows another Auckland transformer.
But although much of NZ’s electricity generation is renewable, the peak loads are serviced by dirty polluting coal and gas (owned by thieving rich capitalists no doubt). So your freezer will be killing the polar bears as it refreezes all your thawed vegan tofu-burgers.
To quote the Lorax:
“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues, and I’m asking you Sir, at the top of my lungs” – What are YOU doing this Earth Hour?
I implore you, on behalf of the trees, the bar-ba-loots, the swomee-swans, the humming-fish, the polar bears, and the thousands of cute and cuddly animals as yet undiscovered that we could be killing in ways we cannot yet imagine – do NOT turn your refridgerator off (or use candles) this Earth Hour.