Britain has just experienced its first E-Day:
Energy Saving Day (E-Day) will be happening between 6pm on Wednesday 27 February 2008 and 6pm on Thursday 28 February.
A launch event at St Paul’s Cathedral will feature:
(a) The Cathedral’s illuminations being left off
(b) A candle lit vigil
(c) A bicycle-powered cinema
(d) Fun and factual films
(f) A bicycle clinic
Why, everyone was looking forward to E-Day:
Some of the UK’s biggest environment and development charities have proposed positive solutions to climate change as their special contribution to E-Day. The charities that have porposed ideas and activities for E-Day include including Greenpeace, The RSPB, The Woodland Trust, Tearfund, Christian Aid, the BTCV, The Ashden Awards and the iCount campaign.
A well known journalist, George Monbiot, has also proposed an imaginative and practical solution …
E-Day did not succeed in cutting the UK’s electricity demand.
Electricity demand actually increased – due to (this is so beautiful) global cooling:
The drop in temperature between Wed 27 Feb and Thurs 28 Feb days probably caused this, as a result of more lights and heating being left on than were originally predicted …
I am afraid that E-Day did not achieve the scale of public awareness or participation needed to have a measurable effect. I will do my best to learn the relevant lessons for next time. Thank you to everyone who helped me or left something off specially as their contribution to E-Day … Please enjoy E-Day’s solution, video and science sections which all worked well.
Warmest regards, Matt
(Via Peter R.)
UPDATE. In other energy-saving developments:
HOUSTON (Reuters) – A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday, coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday.
The same thing happened at RuddFest! By the way, the next time someone begins howling about Texas and oil and rednecks and warmening:
Texas produces the most wind power of any state …
UPDATE II. E-Day organiser Matt Prescott complains:
“We had problems. There was a change in temperature. If it had been warmer, we would have been happy.”
But warmening kills poley bears!
“I feel we haven’t been able to get the publicity to get the scale we needed. I would love to do it again with enough publicity to do it better.”
Good luck achieving that without electricity. What are you going to do, paint your message on the side of cats?
UPDATE III. The BBC reports:
The E-Day concept started life as Planet Relief, an awareness-raising BBC TV programme with a significant comedy element.
On that score, E-Day was a roaring triumph.
UPDATE IV. Proud defiance:
It was supposed to help get people to save electricity, but Energy Saving Day (E-Day), a campaign to get you to turn off your gadgets for the day is looking likely to fail, and fail badly …
Defiant electricity users have used almost 1% more electricity than they normally would.
UPDATE V. Also in the UK, observe how an irate journalist – one of the good guys, in this case – deals with sky numpties. Full screen is the way to go.
UPDATE VI. A mate in London emails: “I totally missed ‘Turn Everything Off Day’, what with all the flying I’ve been doing lately.”