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Moscow Saves $850 During Earth Hour Blackout

The Kremlin and St. Basil's on Saturday observing Earth Hour, when every country is asked to shut off its lights from 8:30 p.m. local time. Mikhail Voskresensky

Moscow saved $850 by taking part in the international Earth Hour campaign last week, City Hall  said Monday.

City authorities marked Earth Hour, part of the international campaign to show awareness of and appreciation for the environment, by shutting off the lights at 90 landmark buildings in Moscow, including the Kremlin, for one hour on Saturday.

By doing so, the city saved five megawatts of electricity and 26,000 rubles ($867), Interfax reported Monday, citing City Hall.

Pavel Livinsky, spokesman for the city's fuel and energy management department, said that "the amount [of savings] was small because Moscow already uses energy-saving technologies in city illumination, including light-emitting diodes."

Livinsky said turning the lights off for Earth Hour was largely a symbolic gesture aimed at drawing Muscovites' attention to ecological issues and promoting energy conservation.

Earth Hour is an international event organized by the World Wildlife Foundation and celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year since 2007.

This year, Earth Day was celebrated one week earlier because of a switch to summer time at the end of March in many countries and because Holy Saturday falls on the last Saturday of the month.

About 70 Russian cities and towns took part in the event this year, RIA-Novosti reported.

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