Countdown to E-Day when everyone can make a difference to climate change

26 February 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Energy Saving Day (E-Day) is an initiative aimed at encouraging people to see that everyone can make a difference by doing their bit to fight climate change, even if it's something as simple as turning off a light.

Dr. Matt Prescott, founder and co-ordinator of E-Day, has named the 24 hour period between 6pm on Wednesday February 27 and 6pm on Thursday February 28th as a time when society can see the tangible results of taking even the smallest step in fighting global warming by leaving off electrical items that do not need to be left on.

Leaving equipment such as television sets, computers and printers on standby, burning lights in unused rooms, and leaving a mobile phone charger plugged in all use small amounts of unnecessary energy. By making a combined effort in homes, schools and offices, it is hoped that the nationwide 'Leave It Off' experiment of E-Day will see a dramatic difference in the amount of energy used.

Considering how many unnecessary appliances are left on each day, there is potential for a 1-3 per cent drop in the UK's energy consumption. Furthermore, if this was repeated on a regular basis, the estimated savings could be equivalent to permanently turning off a medium-sized coal-fired power station, or preserving the energy of approximately 500 wind turbines.

In addition to saving the planet through reducing their energy consumption, consumers will also enjoy cheaper energy bills as a result. Households can reduce them further if they compare gas and electricity suppliers to find the cheapest provider in their area and help the environment by opting for green energy.

The disparity between the UK's predicted use and actual demand for energy on E-Day will be used to establish how much energy has been saved. National Grid has agreed to predict demand the day before in order to produce a more accurate result, and to make this information available to the public. It will also take into account the weather conditions, and any unexpected news or television events on that day which could skew the outcome.

People will be able to see the progress of how much energy is being saved on the E-Day website (, which will display a minute-by-minute update, emphasising how easy it is to make a difference. Participants can also leave their own feedback and comments about the results of their actions, and learn about other ways they can help to prevent climate change.

"By showing the cumulative effects of millions of peoples’ energy saving efforts, over a specific time", the organisers of E-Day hope that "individuals will decide that it is worth their time and effort to leave off electrical items, and that they can help to make a difference by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to tackle climate change."

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