Nanaimo edges Kamloops in Earth Hour power play

NANAIMO – Kamloops mayor has to wear Nanaimo Clippers jersey during council meeting as part of friendly wager.

Nanaimo scored on the power play, so Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar will have to hold one council meeting wearing a Nanaimo Clippers jersey as the result of a friendly wager on Saturday’s Earth Hour.

Last week, Milobar suggested the two cities compete to help bring awareness to the annual event that promotes energy use reduction.

During Earth Hour – 8:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday – Nanaimo residents and businesses reduced energy consumption by 5.3 per cent to finish 22nd out of 68 B.C. municipalities that recorded an energy reduction. Kamloops reduced its power consumption by 2.2 per cent to finish 46th.

It was Nanaimo’s best performance in its five years of participation in the global event.

“It’s a very positive result for Nanaimo, but outside of the wager there is a bigger issue and it’s all to do with awareness,” said Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan. “People are becoming more and more aware of how important reducing our energy consumption is. It’s important for the world to recognize the importance of conservation.”

It won’t be the first time Milobar will wear the Clippers’ crest, however. He played briefly for the 1989-90 edition of the junior A Clippers under current Nanaimo city councillor Bill Bestwick, who was in his second year of coaching the team at the time.

Overall, B.C. municipalities saved 136 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.95 per cent during Earth Hour, the equivalent of turning off more than 10 million 12.5-watt LED light bulbs. It was the province’s best result since it began participating in 2008.

Vancouver Island communities dominated the results, earning 13 of the top 14 spots on B.C. Hydro’s list of top energy saving communities. Comox and Courtenay led the province with energy reductions of 9.8 per cent.