On June 16, from noon until 1 p.m., hundreds of participating offices around the world will turn off their electric lights in observance of the fourth annual Daylight Hour—a social media campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of using natural light in office spaces, rather than using electric light during peak daylight hours. Organized by the Building Energy Exchange (BEE), based in New York, this event recognizes, in part, the summer solstice, which takes place June 21.
The BEE website notes, “This is a critical issue because the times when daylight is most available (workday afternoons) coincides with peak demand—the time when our business districts are demanding the most energy from the grid. This peak energy is the most expensive energy, and typically the dirtiest and most harmful to our global climate because the oldest, least efficient plants are brought online to meet this need.”
One of the goals of Daylight Hour is to allow companies to "showcase their environmental leadership” by sharing their involvement on social media.
In 2016, 650 offices in 20 countries observed Daylight Hour, saving enough energy to power 7,600 residences for one day. This year, BEE anticipates more than 800 offices worldwide to engage with the event. North American city partners include: New York; Rochester, N.Y.; Yonkers, N.Y.; Baltimore; Kansas City, Mo.; Delray Beach, Fla.; Houston; Los Angeles; and Vancouver, Canada.
For more information on Daylight Hour, visit be-exchange.org.