Lights Go Out in Salt Lake

Lights Go Out in Salt Lake

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Sarah Dallof ReportingIf your street looked dark Wednesday night, good. Homeowners and businesses were encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour, in hopes of promoting energy conservation.

Organizers say they spotted some businesses and prominent buildings with their lights out well before 9:00. They figure nobody wanted to come back in at night to turn them off, a good thing for the Lights Out Utah effort.

Utah landmarks were in the dark for an hour Wednesday night.

Mark Newman said, "Wherever you go, you always see the lights on. On the temple it's interesting they're off. I don't know the last time at night it was like that."

So was much of Salt Lake City. Nightside project host Michael Castner saw "Lights Out Utah" from a peak position, the Point restaurant at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The energy saving experiment was highly publicized on the show.

Castner said, "It shows that we're special, we're different. It's a city that's interested in saving energy, and we're all on board"

Rocky Mountain Power estimates if 750,000 electricity users turned off five light bulbs for an hour, it would save enough energy to completely power 1,300 homes for a week.

Dave Eskelsen, with Rocky Mountain Power, said, "We're hoping as a company that people will take this visual demonstration and use it to apply to their entire range of energy."

Salt Lake is the first North American city to turn off their lights, but it's been an international experiment. Sydney, Paris and Rome also tried it. Londoners went dark for an hour in July.

Spencer Freedman, with eCube Energy, said, "People not only saved money and energy, but they became conditioned to what they'd actually achieved."

It's an idea organizers hope Utahns saw clearly Wednesday night, even in the dark. Los Angeles and San Francisco also plan to try a lights out night.

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