UPDATE: Per a recent City of Vancouver bulletin, the 9 o’clock gun will not be firing early on Saturday for Earth Hour. The City said in an email, “At the request of the Chair of the Park Board, Vancouver’s 9 o’clock gun at Stanley Park will fire at its original time during Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, not 8:30pm to mark the start of Earth Hour.
The nightly 9 o’clock gun will go off half an hour early on Saturday, March 28 to remind people to turn out their lights for Earth Hour.
The City announced the 30 minute change today in hopes that the historic alert system will remind people to go electricity-free from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. According to the City, Earth Hour should be the catalyst for residents to think about conserving energy year-round.
“The symbolic action of collectively turning out our lights can serve to remind us all of the actions that we can take to contribute to our sustainable future,” the City of Vancouver said in a bulletin.
Notable City buildings will also go dark for the hour, including City Hall, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility stacks (at the south foot of Cambie Bridge), the Museum of Vancouver / H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Maritime Museum.
During 2014’s Earth Hour, British Columbians reportedly saved 65 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the province’s energy load for one per cent; equal to turning off 1.4 million lights. Though the number is impressive, it is only half of what British Columbian’s saved in 2013 – 136 megawatt hours or two per cent of the province’s energy load – and the second lowest amount since 2008.