Vietnam saved 431,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to around 650 million VND (30,550 USD) thanks to citizens turning off unnecessary lights and electrical equipment from 8.30-9.30pm on March 29, for the 2014 Earth Hour campaign.

Addressing a ceremony in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said the campaign not only helps reduce electricity consumption for one day, but also has a spill over effect across the whole year.

The event contributed to raising public awareness of using energy in an economical and effective manner, promoting sustainable socio-economic development and coping with climate change, Hung added.

Danish Ambassador John Nielsen, who is also Ambassador of the 2014 Earth Hour campaign, said that protecting the Earth, which is the responsibility of everyone, should start from daily changes in life to build a sustainable future.

The campaign has also seen 3,000 volunteers join a “riding for the environment” programme along streets in Hanoi and central Da Nang city. As many as 5,000 restaurants and coffee shops pledged to donate to the campaign and give discounts for the riders.

All 63 provinces and cities nationwide have played their part. Last year’s campaign, the country saved a total of 401,000 kWh of electricity, including 219,000 kWh sourced from Hanoi.

Hundreds of young people in northern Hai Phong city and central Ha Tinh province also organised the “riding for the environment” programme to respond to the campaign. Hai Phong saved a combined volume of nearly 60,000 kWh of electricity in such events from 2011 to 2013.

In Da Nang, lighting at 900 places was turned off for Earth Hour.

Meanwhile, the Central Highland province of Kon Tum has organised activities calling upon local people to economise on electricity, setting a target of saving 40,000 kWh of electricity during the campaign and 3 million kWh for the dry season.

This year, Vietnam strives to save more than 2 billion kWh of electricity. At least 925 million kWh will be saved by Hanoi and the northern and central regions, while Ho Chi Minh City and southern region will aim to save 1.26 trillion kWh.-VNA