City icons to dim for energy’s sake 

The lights will go down in The City this month as San Francisco participates in a global "Earth hour" to raise awareness about energy waste.

The World Wildlife Fund will launch a rolling event that kicks off at 8 p.m. March 29 in Christchurch, New Zealand, working its way around the globe to 25 cities in 20 time zones, ending in San Francisco.

Last year, San Francisco, along with Sydney, conducted a one-hour blackout, also to draw attention to climate change.

At this year’s event, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, City Hall, AT&T Park and Embarcadero Center will participate, according to Earth Hour spokeswoman Casey Shaughnessy.

"With the reality of climate change upon us, cities must be a part of the solution," Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a press statement. "San Francisco leads by example."

Pacific Gas & Electric didn’t tally how much electricity San Franciscans saved during "Lights Out," but the event sent an important message, PG&E spokeswoman Katie Romans said.

"The real impact was the message that it’s easy for all of us to save energy and save the environment doing it," Romans said.

At the October "Lights Out" event, PG&E handed out 100,000 compact fluorescent bulbs to encourage residents to replace high-wattage incandescent bulbs and save energy.

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Beth Winegarner

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