Direct Energy

Direct Energy

December 11, 2009 12:56 ET

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

Tips to Celebrate Holidays with a Touch of Green

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2009) - Ontario residents will be turning down their energy in 2010, with 86 per cent planning to make an energy-efficiency New Year's resolution, according to a new survey commissioned by Direct Energy. The New Year's resolution follows the intentions of residents who are having an energy-efficient holiday season. The same survey found 80 per cent of Ontarians have already or are in the process of switching to energy-efficient holiday lights.

"We're also encouraged to see that one-quarter of Ontario 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 Ontarians have made positive moves to "green their holidays", and many plan to make energy-efficient New Year's resolutions, there is much more opportunity to conserve. In Ontario, 62 per cent of residents do not track or don't know what their energy bills are over the holiday season. This compares to Alberta where over half (56%) track their energy usage over the holiday season. And while many Ontarians go out of town over the holiday season, less than half (44%) are likely to use timers on lights; although this still puts Ontarians ahead of places like Alberta (36%), Texas (29%) and Connecticut (33%).

Other survey findings:

  • Ontario residents do remember to turn down the thermostat (86%) before leaving for holidays.

  • Sixty-Seven per cent will put up festive lights both in and outdoors.

  • Ontarians are also more likely to use timers on their holiday decorations (41%) versus those in Alberta (33%) and Texas (27%).

  • Hosting a social gathering with family or friends is part of the holiday festivities for 85 per cent of residents.

  • When asked what energy-saving measures they would take during holiday gatherings, 81 per cent will run a full dishwasher versus hand-washing, 42 per cent will turn down the heat before guests arrive, and 29% will use candle light.

  • Sixty-seven per cent of Ontario residents put up indoor and outdoor light displays during the holidays. But Alberta residents are even more festive with 73 per cent putting up displays.

Make Your White Christmas Greener

To help Ontarians keep that New Year's resolution and bring holiday energy bills down 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! (And use the handy "sleep" mode to make sure your TV turns 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 slightly 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 Ontario and Alberta.

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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