Vietnam saved 546,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to 712 million VND (34,000 USD) by switching off lights during Earth Hour, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on March 31, according to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).

This year’s campaign to promote energy-saving and sustainable development was joined by 48 provinces and cities nationwide.

In Hanoi , the centre of Vietnam ’s 2012 Earth Hour campaign, lights were turned out at major sites, like the Hanoi Opera House and areas surrounding Hoan Kiem lake.

At a ceremony to kick off the campaign, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong called on every individual to translate commitments to protecting the global environment and using energy in an efficient and sustainable manner into specific deeds and daily actions.

Nguyen Van Suu, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, pledged the capital’s authorities and people will take practical actions to save power during the whole year, mentioning turning off unnecessary lights, encouraging green means of transport, increasing tree-growing coverage and effectively using water resources.

The Northern Electricity Corporation, an EVN affiliate, pledged to provide energy-efficient lighting equipment for 250 classrooms in the northern mountainous provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Ha Giang and Lao Cai.
In response to the campaign, Hoi An ancient city in the central province of Quang Nam turned to the glistening lights of candles and lanterns.

Earlier, local people and visitors joined hands in cleaning and collecting rubbish along the An Ban and Cua Dai beaches and in the ancient quarter and planting trees as a way to declare their commitment to protect the environment.

This is the fourth time Hoi An has taken part in the Earth Hour campaign.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City became sparkling in the lights of candles and solar energy and energy-saving lighting systems well prepared earlier.
Sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature and first implemented in 2007 in Australia , the event aims to raise people’s awareness of saving power and using power more efficiently to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

Earth Hour was first organised in Vietnam in 2009.

Last year, 400,000 kWh of electricity was saved during Earth Hour.-VNA