Following San Francisco's lead, Los Angeles County and city officials are urging people, businesses and government to switch off nonessential lights for one hour next month to save energy.
Led by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke and City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, the proposed effort asks Angelenos to simultaneously go dark between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, as San Franciscans do the same. Local officials are expected to vote on the plan next week.
At the original event in Sydney, Australia, in March, 2.2 million people cut the lights, causing a 10% drop in electricity use. The so-called Earth Hour reduced 25 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking nearly 49,000 cars off the road for 60 minutes, organizers said.
"It's a great opportunity to conserve," Burke said, "a great [symbol] of people coming together."
Although San Francisco's energy-saving event has been in the works for six months, with cooperation from city officials and the chamber of commerce to black out the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid and Alcatraz, among other landmarks, Los Angeles officials hope to get the word out in a matter of weeks. They'll use public service announcements, advertising at public facilities and partnerships with local universities. Plus, there are plans for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison to distribute energy-efficient light bulbs at city and county facilities, said Karly Katona, a deputy for Burke.