If you were to talk to any store owner in Vernon and ask them if they had a high electricity bill, about 95 per cent of them would say yes. I was driving through Vernon at 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning recently and I noticed that in almost every single store you looked into the lights were on.
I thought to myself, if all of the store owners in Vernon turned their lights off for one night, it would save them a lot of money but also it would be better for the environment. I think it is such a waste of energy to leave all the lights on in an office building or a restaurant.
Do the owners of restaurants really think that if someone drives by at 3 a.m. they’re going to be in the mood for a burger and fries? Office buildings leave all of their lights on when there is no one inside. Also, hotels keep their bright displays on all night. I would understand if they were on till 10 p.m. or so for the people that arrive late. But is it really necessary when the receptionist leaves that the lights are still advertising people to come in when you can’t?
I think the only excuse for the lights of a business to be on at night is if it is a 24-hour business like a drive-thru or if some companies have graveyard shifts.
If stores did leave their lights on, they might be lucky if they got a couple people to look at their display but at night, everyone is sleeping anyway. If store owners really wanted to keep their displays on, they could be put on a timer so they turn off at midnight and then they would turn back on at 7 a.m. Even if you do this, you are still saving electricity instead of having the lights on all night.
In the end, I think keeping your business lights on all night is a big waste of electricity and money. See if you can try to keep them off for one month and see how much money you save.
At the end of the month, you can count all of the money that you saved and you could use it for a business repair or an upgrade. By doing this, we can make Vernon a smarter and greener community and become a role model for the other towns and cities in the Okanagan.
Grade 10 student at Vernon Secondary School