Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

October 20, 2005 10:00 ET

'Workplace Slackers' Waste More than Time

Almost one-in-ten Torontonian workers would waste electricity to make it

look like they are working...even when they're not!!

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 20) - A survey commissioned by Toronto Hydro to track how people waste electricity reveals that almost one-in-ten Torontonian workers would leave their lights or computers on to give the impression that they are working early or late. From an office expense perspective, any equipment left on needlessly can represent millions of dollars in electricity costs.

Conservative estimates indicate that there are close to 1.3 million people working in office-type settings with computers in the city of Toronto. The average computer uses about 120 watts, and the annual cost to run an average computer and monitor for 24 hours a day is about $168. Task lighting or desk lamps use another $50 per year if left on all the time.

While there are those that leave their computers on to deceive their boss, there are even more computers left on because people wrongfully believe that it is better for the hard drive, more cost-effective, and uses little electricity in 'sleep-mode', rather than shutting down overnight and re- booting in the morning. In an office building, turning off all computers and lights in the evenings and weekends can save approximately $125 a year for each computer and desk light. Multiply that by a typical building with 1,000 employees and annual savings add up to $125,000.

With daylight-savings time ending on October 30, more lights will be turned on earlier - and perhaps left on through the night with computers in tow. Home and business electricity use increases as the days become shorter. In the average home, 25 per cent of all the electricity used is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. As Torontonians turn back the clock, turn up the lights, and begin spending more time indoors and using more electricity, they will need to look for ways to offset their summer electricity bills and save money.

The easiest way to conserve electricity is to turn equipment off when not in use and to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75 per cent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, and represent $27 in electricity savings over the life of the bulb. Customers should take advantage of the Bright Ideas program that will end at the end of the month. Every Toronto household is entitled to two FREE CFL bulbs. For more information, go to

Workplace Slackers - the survey

- Almost one-in-ten Torontonian workers would leave their lights or

computers on to make it look like they are working....even when

they aren't!

- The younger generation (18-34 year olds) seem to have poorer work

habits - they are more likely than the older workers to leave

their computers on to make it look like they are working when they

are someplace else.

- Furthermore, male Torontonian workers are slightly more likely

(10%) than female Torontonian workers (6%) to leave their lights

or computers on to impress the boss.

Note: This poll was conducted between July 8th and July 12th, 2005 and was based on a randomly selected sample of 874 English speaking Torontonian adults aged 18+ (591 working full-time or part-time) using Decima's proprietary online panel. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within (+/-)3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire Torontonian adult population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within subgroupings of the survey population. Data have been weighted to ensure the sample is representative of the gender, age and employment status distribution in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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