Singaporeans are ready to embrace Earth Hour at 8.30pm tonight. Perhaps more than anyone else, they can readily appreciate the virtues of air conditioning, with the tropical city state typically experiencing temperatures of above 30˚C throughout the year. Anyone who does switch off for Earth Hour is making a big, but definitely worthwhile sacrifice.
The much-loved air conditioner consumes huge amounts of power; the Golden Village Yishun (GV) multiplex, which is already striving to save energy ahead of tonight’s Earth Hour, reported that after it reset its air conditioning from between 23˚C – 24˚C to 20˚C – 21˚C its level of energy use dropped by a third. Roger Lim, chief information officer for GV is leading their environmental efforts. He said that the recent temperature increase at their Yishun multiplex earned the venue a BCA Green Mark Gold Award following the decision. However, GV’s eight other multiplexes will remain at the standard 20˚C – 21˚C, because its patrons are used to enjoying cool air while watching movies at the cinema.
The decision by GV has met mixed reactions. One patron, Samuel Tee, 18, said that he was left dripping with sweat the last time he went to the cinema. Others though, are more appreciative of GV’s efforts. Daniel Ng, 21, said that before “I had to bring a jacket”, and now he feels the temperature is about right. GV’s lead has been followed by the World Wildlife Fund, which advocates that all air conditioners are switched to 24˚C or above during this evening’s Earth Hour, in addition to switching the lights out. Two popular resorts – the integrated Resorts World Sentosa and the Marin Bay Sands have also supported the call, raising air con temperatures to 24˚C for the whole day.
Many offices are also doing their bit. More than 70% of City Development Limited tenants in thirteen buildings leased by the developers will turn off the air conditioning at lunchtime, from 1pm till 1.30pm. CapitaLand will also take action, raising temperatures to 25˚C in more than 30 properties it operates. The main event for Earth Hour is held tomorrow night from 5.30pm till 10pm at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.