Lights Off for Daylight Hour 2020
The summer solstice is the day of the year when due to the earth’s position on its axis and rotation, the hemisphere is exposed to the most sun throughout the day. In the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year falls around June 21, marking the arrival of summer.
Traditionally, the solstice has been celebrated by many cultures as the start of the harvest season, using the extra hours of daylight for summer festivities. This year, you can honor the solstice by saving energy through participating in Daylight Hour on Monday, June 22!
One Hour Lit by Sunlight
In 2014, Building Energy Exchange, a nonprofit that provides energy efficiency resources in New York, decided to challenge different businesses to turn off the lights for one hour on the summer solstice. The challenge recognizes the importance of collective action to save energy and reduce emissions.
Daylight Hour requires organizations to pledge to turn off nonessential lights for 1 hour. In its first year, more than 140 offices turned off lights in 2.4 million square feet of office space. By 2018, participating businesses in over 20 countries turned off the lights in 130 million square feet of space – saving the equivalent gas emissions of 437,000 miles driven by car. Since 2014, the program has helped save enough energy to power more than 34,000 homes for a day.
Daylight Hour is a chance to get everyone at the office involved with energy savings. By making the most of the abundant daylight hours on the solstice, Daylight Hour helps remind us that energy consumption is in our control.
This year, the Daylight Hour challenge is coming to your homes with the At-Home Edition. Because of public health precautions due to COVID-19, this year’s Daylight Hour is your chance to save energy and help cut your household carbon footprint.
One Hour of At-Home Energy Savings
Although commercial spaces consume a lot of energy, at-home energy savings can still make a big impact. In Utah, roughly 30% of our electricity use is residential. And – although electricity is used for everything from heating to powering your TV – turning off unessential lights can be the easiest way to save energy at home.
Indeed, in 2019, U.S. residents consumed roughly 75 billion kWh of electricity for lighting alone. That’s about 5% of the total residential electricity consumption. As more and more employees are working from home, the 2020 numbers are sure to be higher.
Take the pledge to turn off your lights for Daylight Hour on June 22 from noon to 1:00 pm. You can join as an individual or you can challenge your whole office to participate. Participating in Daylight Hour helps you reduce energy consumption and bring awareness to the importance of energy efficiency and conservation. Sign up here!
Turning off your lights when you don’t need them is just one way to reduce your energy consumption. If you haven’t already, switching your light bulbs to LED will improve your overall energy efficiency. Other ways to save energy at home include adjusting your thermostat and switching to a low-flow showerhead. Check out the Energy Savings Checklist from Empower SLC here. Energy efficiency can help you reduce emissions and save money.
You can calculate your energy use at home with Rocky Mountain Power’s calculator here, or you can find out how your Daylight Hour actions saved energy here.