VANCOUVER, B.C – Despite their best intentions, British Columbians increased their power use during Earth Hour for the first time in a decade.

B.C. Hydro says electricity use across the province rose by 0.2 per cent from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. last night, compared with the same hour the week before.

In a B.C. Hydro survey published this month, the Crown corporation said seven in 10 respondents said they planned on participating in Earth Hour this year.

But the Crown corporation says this also marks the fifth year in a trend of declining participation by British Columbians.

The World Wildlife Fund created Earth Hour, a global event, to encourage participants to turn off their lights for one hour to draw attention to climate change.

More than 180 countries and territories across seven continents are believed to have participated in the event yesterday.

The biggest Earth-Hour drop in electricity use in B.C. occurred during the inaugural event in 2008, when power use dropped by two per cent.