Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau is encouraging Nova Scotians to participate in Earth Hour Saturday, March 31, at 8:30 p.m. Earth Hour is an annual event that encourages households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about and take action on climate change. “As a coastal province, Nova Scotia is well aware of the effects we are already seeing from climate change,” said Mr. Belliveau. “By turning off our lights during Earth Hour, we signal our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment during the hour and every day.” “Using less energy is the single best way to help keep electricity affordable,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “Along with increasing the percentage of clean, local renewables in our energy generation mix, it is at the heart of Nova Scotia’s energy strategy.” Last year, Nova Scotia Power reported an 18-megawatt reduction in power consumption during Earth Hour, which is the equivalent of turning off about 1.4 million 13-watt compact florescent light bulbs. “Over the past five years, we’ve cut our coal use from 80 per cent of total generation down to 57 per cent, and it will be even less this year,” said Rob Bennett, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “This means Nova Scotians are using cleaner electricity, and we’re reducing our exposure to volatile foreign fossil fuel prices.” Efficiency Nova Scotia CEO Allan Crandlemire also encouraged Nova Scotians to participate in Earth Hour. “By using less energy we are not only able to save money, but we can help cut back on harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mr. Crandlemire. “We encourage Nova Scotians to use energy better every day, and shutting their lights off for Earth Hour is a symbolic way to demonstrate their commitment to energy efficiency.” For helpful tips on reducing energy consumption visit www.efficiencyns.ca or call 1-877-999-6035. More information about Earth Hour can be found at http://www.earthhour.org.