If the electricity grid goes out

On any given day the equivalent of 500,000 people in the U.S. are without power for 2 hours or more. In other words, studies have shown that power outages cost the U.S. economy around $80 billion annually.

Earth HourEarth Hour, an annual global campaign founded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to raise sustainability awareness around environmental issues facing the Earth, symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour. It’s more than just the hour. Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India because of Earth Hour support.

To date, Earth Hour has now been embraced and supported by over 50 million people in 154 countries across all seven continents. Participate with supporters from around the world by turning off your lights for an hour on Saturday, Mar. 29, at 8.30 p.m.

The Smart Grid and Earth Hour
As the world participates and celebrates in this year’s Earth hour, a focus on the smart grid, energy efficiently, and reliability becomes clear. Most power outages originate in the distribution grid — the equipment connecting your home to the neighborhood power substation. The major cause of outages is due to severe weather like tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural causes. Some outages are due to equipment failures. These impacts to homeowners can range from the inconvenience of losing air conditioning on a hot summer day to adverse health impacts in the case of people who rely on electricity for critical medical equipment.

A smart grid enables the reliability we have come to expect for the future, integrating diverse generation and storage resources into a smart self-healing grid. The smart grid and smart meters allow individuals to have better control over their energy usage and enabling the integration of clean, renewable generation sources where and when it’s needed.

Making the U.S. electric grid more intelligent is one way to participate in energy conservation to reduce carbon emissions by up to 5 percent. Just changing overall electricity consumption and adjusting behavior saves energy, money and increases electricity reliability.

So while participating in Earth Hour, learn more about the smart grid, how it can affect you, and how to be a more energy conscious user by visiting here.

Submit your smart grid story now and receive a $25 energy participation award!

We want to hear your story on how smart grid or smart meters enabled you to take control of your power. Submit a video directly or write out your story - we want you to be creative and tell us what ways your improved electricity options helped you save money, protect the environment, or enabled cool things to use.

For each accepted submission, you would receive a $25 energy participation award.

Submit your story now!

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