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ConEd gives up on Greenwashing, keeps lights blazing during Earth Hour

When confronted with a massive, coordinated campaign to get millions of people worldwide to drastically reduce their electricity usage for one hour there are two ways a utility company can respond: They can attempt to ‘Greenwash’ their business by partaking in the feel-good environmentalism or they can just stand up and own their carbon-spewing industry for what it is.

During Earth Hour 2009, Consolidated Edison took the former approach and joined with the owners of other landmark NYC buildings in turning off their exterior lights for an hour.

This year, however, ConEd apparently decided to adopt the ‘own it’ strategy.

While most other NYC landmarks went dark from 8:30 to 9:30 PM on Saturday, ConEd decided to keep its Union Square tower illuminated in all of its blue glory. (See photos below)

Fitting, I suppose, since they are the power company.

[2009 photo via Inhabitat, 2010 photo via Earth Hour]

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4 Comments

  1. Tom VanderMey says:

    DTE Energy is still pretending. Each time you go to The Ark in Ann Arbor you have to listen to this disgusting pitch about how you should sign up to pay more in your electricity bill so that DTE can send electrons from their windmills directly to your house. Yeah, right. (I guess DTE is building some windmills in The Thumb, but I just don’t want to have to listen to that guy ever again.)

    1. Free Refills says:

      That does sound dreadfully annoying. But as a DTE shareholder I approve of the strategy, since what they are doing is getting people to voluntarily pay more for electricity so that they feel marginally better about themselves. Sounds good to me.

      I just wish they would make the list of people who signed up for this deal public. I’ve got some all-natural-organic-fair trade-shade-grown-gluten-free potato chips I’d like to sell them for $20 a bag.

    2. Free Refills says:

      Wow. I just looked up the DTE website. This program is a delightful scam. As far as I can tell they have two options:

      You can give DTE between $2.50 and $25 dollars a month for “blocks” of Green Energy.

      OR

      You can simply pay 2 cents more per kilowatt-hour.

      And as the website makes clear, all charges are “in addition to your normal electric bill.”

      Such a bargain!

  2. […] [Previous Earth Hour coverage] 0CommentsShare AKPC_IDS += "1760,"; […]

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