Direct Energy

Direct Energy

December 11, 2009 12:56 ET

Albertans Resolve to Make 2010 an Energy-Efficient Year, Says Direct Energy Survey

Tips to celebrate Christmas with a touch of green

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2009) - Alberta residents will be turning down their energy in 2010, with 93 per cent planning to make an energy-efficiency New Year's resolution, according to a survey commissioned by Direct Energy. The New Year will follow an energy-efficient holiday season where 78 per cent of Albertans have already or are in the process of switching to energy-efficient holiday lights.

"We also found it encouraging to see that one-quarter of Alberta residents have energy-efficient products on their wish list for holiday gifts, demonstrating that we've become more aware of how to reduce our energy usage," said Tanis Kozak, VP and General Manager, Direct Energy. "This is a good thing because let's face it - the holiday season is the time of year when we're often required to raid the piggy bank, especially if there is a spike in our energy bills from colourful lighting displays and increased heating costs. If we want to keep our costs down, it is important for all of us to be aware of how much energy we are consuming while enjoying the holidays."

While Albertans have begun making positive moves to "green their holidays", and many planning to make energy-efficient New Year's resolutions, there is much more opportunity to conserve. In Alberta, over half of residents (56%) track their home energy usage over the holiday season, ranking it significantly higher than counterparts in Ontario, where only 38 per cent track energy usage. Yet, old habits die hard when it comes to changing energy consumption patterns. While many Albertans go out of town over the holiday season, only 36 per cent use timers on lights, which put Alberta behind Ontario where 44 per cent of residents use timers, but ahead of certain U.S. states such as Texas (29%) and Connecticut (33%).

Other survey findings:

  • Alberta residents do remember to turn down the thermostat (82%) before leaving on holidays.
  • Albertans are more likely to put up indoor and outdoor light displays (73%) versus Ontario (67%) or Michigan (61%).
  • Hosting a social gathering with family or friends is part of the holiday festivities for 86 per cent of Alberta residents.
  • When asked what energy-saving measures they would take during holiday gatherings, 80 per cent will run a full dishwasher versus hand-washing, 32 per cent will turn down the heat before guests arrive and 26 per cent will use candle light.
  • Alberta consumers reuse gift wrap and bows (58%) significantly higher than other markets like New York (40%).

Make Your White Christmas Greener

To help Albertans keep that New Year's resolution without resorting to becoming misers like old Mr. Scrooge, Direct Energy offers these tips:

Time your holiday lighting. Using a timer means never having to wonder if you unplugged the holiday lights before settling into bed (with or without visions of sugarplums dancing in your head.) Go ahead, fall asleep on the couch while watching It's a Wonderful Life; the lights will turn themselves off! (But don't forget to use the handy "sleep" mode on your remote to make sure the TV's turned off too.)

Make the switch to LED holiday lights. LED lights are inexpensive and use 90 per cent less electricity than regular holiday lights.

Turn down the thermostat. During the holidays, it's common to have houseguests. Take advantage of the extra body heat and turn the thermostat down a few degrees. This is also a great opportunity to don your favourite reindeer Christmas sweater. Go the extra mile and install a programmable thermostat. Set it so that the temperature decreases a few degrees at night and during the day when no one is home.

Turn it off and unplug it. How many times have you found the television watching the room in your house? Remember to turn off lights and electronics whenever you leave a room and unplug anything that isn't in use to prevent electronics from consuming power even when they're not on. The simple flick of a switch and pull of a cord will help you conserve energy.

About the Survey

Direct Energy commissioned an online survey of approximately 2,500 consumers across Canada and the U.S. The survey included approximately 650 respondents in Canada, from Alberta and Ontario.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with over 5 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 20 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com.

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