Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

June 02, 2005 14:30 ET

Keep Cool Launch Pulls More than Its Weight

Toronto Hydro encourages retiring and recycling old window air conditioners to reduce Toronto energy demand and improve air quality

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - June 2) - It took the strength of two powerful men to launch Keep Cool - a joint Clean Air Foundation and Toronto Hydro program designed to reduce energy consumption. In a partnership with The Home Depot Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the City of Toronto, Keep Cool was launched at the Docks in Toronto today by two of Canada's Strongmen competitors who lugged two truckloads of old air conditioners 15 metres.

Keep Cool is the second conservation program introduced this year as part of Toronto Hydro's three-year, $5.4 million investment with The Home Depot Canada that will deliver up to 30.8 megawatts (MW) in peak load reduction.

The Keep Cool campaign encourages people in Toronto to get rid of old, window air conditioners that increase energy consumption and contribute to deteriorating air quality.

Toronto-area residents can recycle their old air conditioners at any of the 12 participating The Home Depot locations in Toronto (for locations, please visit Keep Cool representatives will give participants a $25 gift card to The Home Depot for each room air conditioner collected. This program runs from June 4-19, weekends only.

"It's important to consider how much energy you're using when trying to stay cool," said David O'Brien, president of Toronto Hydro. "We're dedicated to helping our customers be more energy efficient and save money. If we use more electricity than what's available, the province needs to import electricity. In the end, that costs everyone more."

"We are pleased to support the Keep Cool program and encourage everyone to conserve energy," said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "Reducing energy use helps improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming."

The Keep Cool campaign hopes to permanently retire and recycle 1,000 air conditioners and reduce energy demand in Toronto by 1.1 MW. This is equivalent to the electricity needed to power approximately 200 homes.

"I'm a Toronto area resident myself and appreciate how hot our city can get during the summer months," said Ersilia Serafini, executive director of the Clean Air Foundation. "We know people like using air conditioners, but we're encouraging them to RETIRE older units. If these Strongmen can lug in all these units, surely the residents of Toronto can bring one in to a Toronto Home Depot location!"

The program partners encourage Toronto residents to use cleaner cooling alternatives such as ceiling fans, blinds and tree shade to reduce energy demand in the summer. All old air conditioners will be recycled through the City of Toronto's waste transfer stations.

"This program is a great way for Toronto-area residents to do their part to reduce energy consumption and improve air quality while being rewarded for their efforts," said Pat Wilkinson, director of marketing at The Home Depot Canada. "Getting people to remove these old, inefficient air conditioners out of their homes will save them money and help the environment."

This year, a Keep Cool contest offers the chance for participating Toronto residents to win a "cool" makeover of their home, which includes a ceiling fan, a shade tree, a programmable thermostat, solar lighting and blinds. Contest cards will be available at the Home Depot stores and given out through postal walk drops and flyer handouts. Any resident of the City of Toronto is eligible to win - visit and enter a contest card number.

About the Clean Air Foundation

The Clean Air Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing, implementing and managing public engagement programs and strategic initiatives that lead to a measurable improvement in air quality. The Foundation manages six public engagement programs - Car Heaven, Keep Cool, Mow Down Pollution, Energy Wise, Switch Out and Cool Shops.

About Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

A subsidiary of Toronto Hydro Corporation, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited delivers electricity through a complex network of poles, wires and underground structures to 668,673 customers and distributes 18 per cent of the electricity in the province of Ontario. Our annual revenues are $2.49 billion, peak demand is 4,914 megawatts and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited's workforce of 1,201 skilled professionals is dedicated to delivering a safe and reliable supply of electricity to customers.

About The Home Depot Canada

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot® is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2004 sales of $73.1 billion. The company employs approximately 325,000 associates, including 24,000 in Canada, and has 1,898 stores, including 118 in nine Canadian provinces. The Home Depot has been recognized by Fortune as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer for 2005. In Canada, The Home Depot was named Retailer of the Year in 2004 by the Office of Energy Efficiency. The company recently announced the creation of a business development operation for retail expansion into China. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

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