The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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L.A. County event promotes saving energy

An event to encourage people not to use electricity if it’s not essential in powering their homes, offices, or where they are from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. was held on Oct. 20.

Southern California Edison partnered with the offices of Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke for the County of Los Angeles and Wendy Greuel, president pro tem for the Los Angeles City Council, to organize Lights Out Los Angeles, the energy saving event in question.

Los Angeles County officials turned off unnecessary lights at City Hall, the County Hall of Administration and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), though street lights weren’t turned off in order to keep communities safe.

SCE representative Vanessa McGrady said the event focused on informing people about energy conservation, not just about saving energy for one hour during the night.

“We want customers to be committed to a cultural change,” McGrady said. The goal is to have a lasting effect on people as to the importance of conserving energy, McGrady said.

Karly Katona, Burke’s deputy, said they were pleased with the turnout, although they don’t have exact numbers as to how many people actually participated in the event.

Katona agreed with McGrady as to the goal of the event, which she said was aimed at educating people about ways to help the environment.

Pasadena, Long Beach and Culver City participated in the event, Katona said. Companies such as Yahoo! Inc., Gap, Inc., Esurance and Vons sponsored the event.

Jonathan Polus, a freshman English literature major, said he didn’t know about the event, but probably would’ve turned off his lights if he did.

Polus said he tries to save energy by turning off lights and computers when he’s doesn’t need to have them on. It’s important to save energy “both for the city and from a financial perspective,” Polus said. “If you have multiple lights on in each room that’s going to cost you.”

Stephanie Castillo, a freshman child development major, said she works to conserve energy as well.

“I try to reduce the hours of T.V. usage,” Castillo said. “We use fans instead of air conditioning.”

Lights Out Los Angeles is part of the ongoing Change a Light, Change the World campaign, which came out of Edison’s partnership with Energy Star, a government program that promotes the use of energy-efficient products.

The Change a Light, Change the World campaign urges customers to replace one regular light bulb with an Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent light bulb in order to combat global warming.

Edison asked customers to replace each bulb with government-approved compact energy efficient bulbs.

Katona said Burke’s office hopes people will participate in the upcoming Lights Out America event on March 29, 2008.

Polus said, “No matter what you do, we’re still going to be harvesting coal (to generate power).”

“Not everybody (turns off their lights), so it doesn’t do much,” Castillo said.

“It’s hard,” Castillo said.

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