By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
Last Updated: 7:01pm GMT 28/02/2008
Energy Saving Day was a flop, its organiser admitted last night after the National Grid confirmed that across Britain energy use went up by just over one per cent.
The day, which began at dusk on Wednesday evening with candles being lit in St Paul’s cathedral, had received the backing of the minister for climate change, Joan Ruddock, Lord May, the former president of the Royal Society, and groups including the National Trust, Tesco and the power companies.
The E Day website encouraged participants to turn off as many appliances as possible and to leave them unused for as long as possible.
But by mid afternoon it was clear from the meters on the Day’s website that consumption was about 600 megawatt hours across the country, higher than what the National Grid estimated was used on a normal February day.
Matt Prescott, the organiser, who had support from the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, said: “We had problems. There was a change in temperature. If it had been warmer, we would have been happy.
“I feel we haven’t been able to get the publicity to get the scale we needed. I would love to do it again with enough publicity to do it better.”