Direct Energy

Direct Energy

October 05, 2011 10:59 ET

Albertans Are Heating Up Over Winter Bills

Direct Energy Reveals Potential Savings of Up to $5,634 With Simple Energy-Saving Tips and Efficiency Upgrades

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2011) - The majority (55 per cent) of Alberta homeowners said they feel either concerned or angry about their upcoming winter heating bills, according to a recent survey conducted for Direct Energy by Angus Reid. As temperatures begin to plummet across the province, Direct Energy wants to ease the pain by providing energy and cost saving tips for Canadian homeowners.

"We know that higher energy bills in the winter can be stressful for homeowners, and many Canadians are unaware of the simple steps they can take to achieve real savings every month," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy." Energy efficiency home upgrades this winter can be as simple as one, two, three with more than $5,634 in savings and rebates at your fingertips."

Direct Energy encourages Alberta homeowners to book their annual furnace maintenance now that temperatures are dropping. Homeowners can save as much as 5 per cent on heating bills by simply replacing the filter every two to three months. Further, a home energy assessment will uncover opportunities to save additional funds by upgrading equipment, installing insulation, cleaning air ducts and sealing leaks where necessary.

Survey results also showed that Alberta homeowners could do a lot more to capitalize on energy and cost-saving measures and that an overall lack of awareness may be the culprit. Only 16 per cent of Albertans have heard of or installed a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)(1) and less than one in ten (9 per cent) are taking advantage of up to $2,700 available in federal ecoENERGY and additional $5,000 in provincial rebates.

"The government recently renewed the ecoENERGY Retrofit program for another year offering Canadians significant financial incentive to take steps towards energy efficiency," said Walton. "In addition to savings per bill, making energy investments in your home may qualify your family for thousands of dollars in federal rebates. With 47 per cent of Albertans telling us that they'd consider making energy updates after being informed of the rebate, we're really motivated to continue spreading the word."

Research done by Direct Energy found the average Canadian homeowner(2) could potentially save as much as $980, or 25.9 per cent on their annual heating bill and qualify for up to $4,654 in rebates by taking three steps:

  1. Save up to $1,855 for upgrading equipment:
  • Replacing a conventional furnace(3) with a high efficiency one can result in savings of up to $565 per year, or 15 per cent on heating bills
  • Replacing a furnace for the first time could result in additional savings of $790 through the federal ecoENERGY rebate program(4) and $500 in provincial rebates
  1. Save up to $3,056 by boosting insulation:
  • Topping up attic and basement insulation can result in savings up to $307 per year(5) or 8.13 per cent on heating bills
  • ecoENERGY rebates on attic and basement insulation can total as much as $1,250 with provincial rebates equaling up to $1,499
  1. Save up to $723 for sealing leaks and improving air quality:
  • Sealing leaks with weather stripping and caulking can save up to $108 per year on heating bills or 2.9 per cent
  • Install an HRV to improve the air quality of the home and receive up to $375 through ecoENERGY
  • Additional saving of up to $240 through ecoEnergy rebates
Additional findings from the Direct Energy survey reveal that:
  • Ninety per cent of Alberta homeowners are unaware that their old furnace is likely the biggest energy waster during the heating season.
  • When it comes to priorities for fall, only 22 per cent of Albertan homeowners plan to book furnace maintenance, while 43 per cent said getting snow tires topped the list.
  • More than half (59 per cent) of Albertans don't clean their air ducts, which could lead to indoor air quality issues.

About the Survey

From September 23 to September 26, 2011, an online survey was conducted among a randomly selected, representative sample of 2,000 Canadians adults, including 1,350 Canadian homeowners. All respondents are Angus Reid Forum panel members. Individuals were sampled according to Census data to be representative of the Canadian national adult population. The full dataset has been statistically weighted according to the most current gender, age, region, education (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. The margin of error is ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 6 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 45 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada.

(1) A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is a machine that brings in fresh air and filters it before sending to all areas of the home. It provides improved climate control, while also saving energy by reducing heating (and cooling) requirements.

(2) Average Canadian home stats from the Canadian Real Estate Association, Stats Canada and Natural Resources Canada suggest the average home is: 1860 square feet, 40 years old, two stories and 60% of the basement walls insulated up to R12. Savings calculated using HOT2000 software, Natural Resource Canada's recognized standard tool for use by trained and certified energy auditors.

(3) A furnace manufactured to operate at 60% efficiency.

(4) Customer must qualify for grants by completing a Home Energy Audit. Amount varies based on the type of equipment purchased and the area in which you reside. Direct Energy Home Services is not involved in the administration of all these programs. Customer is responsible for applying for rebates/grants directly with the appropriate government agency as specified in the program.

(5) Savings calculated based on attic insulation rated as R50 or higher, and basement insulation rated R12 or higher.

Contact Information

  • For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to
    book an interview with Dave Walton please contact:
    Crystal Jongeward, Direct Energy
    416.590.3248
    Crystal.Jongeward@directenergy.com
    Twitter: @DirectEnergy