Shops, restaurants and offices joined homeowners across the Island in switching off their lights from 8 to 9 p.m. last Saturday in an effort to raise awareness about energy consumption.
Earth Hour, an event established last year in Sydney, Australia, by the World Wildlife Fund, went global this year when the Vineyard and a number of other small communities joined a cluster of participating major international cities from San Francisco to Bangkok.
NStar, a utility that transmits power to the Island, registered an 0.8 megawatt drop in Vineyard electricity consumption between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. — enough to power between 750 and 1,000 homes. A spokesman noted that the utility did not see a similar drop during the same time period on the prior Saturday.
Though the company was unwilling to officially attribute the dip to the events of Earth Hour, Island organizers are claiming victory.
“You have to give people credit,” said organizer Marnie Stanton, who saw this year’s event as a trial run to get the word out about the event. “We’re getting ready for next year already,” she said.