Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Earth Hour

Last Saturday (March 28) at 8:30pm to 9:30 pm around the world, people have been encouraged to support the earth hour by switching off lights and other non-essential appliances. The Earth Hour is supported by various organization and cities across the world.

I became aware of this one-hour lights off event while watching National Geographic Channel. And on Friday, a coworker of mine sent me a text regarding the event.

I had every intention of joining this event and planned on switching off lights and other non-essential appliances (my TV) but on that particular night, I was so tired from going to Uratex in Quezon City, going around with my brother and doing some work that I totally forgot about this. What's worse, I fell asleep before the appointed hour, leaving my TV, my electric fan, my refrigerator and lights on. And this went on until I woke up the following morning (about 4am). Not only was I not able to join the event, the hour passed with basically all of my electricity-using appliances turned on.

Not that I don't support the environment. I do my part in my own small way, like avoiding having my purchases put in plastic bags when such is avoidable. But being in the Philippines and paying one of the highest electricity charges in Asia, I find it ironic that we are being told to conserve electricity (even by Meralco) to minimize the amount that we have to pay (this being true). However, as a whole (I mean all consumers in the Philippines taken together), we are paying to the power-producing plants for electricity that is not being produced and distributed because of contracts that the government entered into (during the blackouts of the Ramos administration).

On my part though, conserving electricity is still a good way to save money. If my electricity bill is at or a below a certain kilowatt-hour, I see a deduction in my electricity bill for "subsidies" while if I consumed electricity above that level, I will be subsidizing others for their electrical bills. Better that I am subsidized by others AND help minimize electrical production (not sure if my saving electricity will have an impact on total production).

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