An energy-saving
light bulb
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 31 March 2011 – During Earth Hour on Saturday, South Africans saved 350 megawatts of electricity “’ enough to power the city of Bloemfontein for an entire day.

“As part of its support for the Earth Hour campaign, South African national power utility Eskom Holdings measured the reduction in electricity used during the hour, against typical consumption for this time on an average Saturday evening,” said Eskom spokeswoman Hillary Joffe in a statement issued here.

This was part of Eskom’s 49M initiative endorsed by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, encouraging South Africans to save electricity to “save the planet and save their pockets”.

The name 49M is a reference to South Africa’s population of around 49 million people, and the difference a collective effort on this scale could make in saving electricity.

“We encourage every South African to lift a finger, which is all it takes to switch off a light when it is not in use,” said Joffe.

Other measures, such as replacing incandescent globes with fluorescent lamps and adjusting geyser thermostats, would also help save hundreds of tonnes of coal used to generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gases, Joffe added.