Direct Energy Home Services

Direct Energy Home Services

September 28, 2010 08:00 ET

As Canada Braces for Winter, Majority of Consumers Concerned About Managing Heating Bills-Now Is the Time to Prepare

Albertans can start to save up to $980 off heating bills this winter through three energy efficiency home upgrades

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2010) - A majority (66%) of Alberta homeowners are concerned about managing their bills this winter, according to a survey conducted for Direct Energy by Angus Reid. Now is the time for Alberta homeowners to start preparing for the winter by ensuring their heating equipment is in optimal health and implementing energy efficiency upgrades which will make a real difference in reducing their heating bills.

"Implementing three energy efficiency home upgrades can save homeowners as much as $980 off their heating bill this winter," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy. "Having your furnace maintained each year is the simplest and easiest way to ensure your furnace is in optimal health. To explore other ways to keep your heating bills down, a home energy audit is a great way to determine how energy efficient your home is and what steps to take to make improvements that make a real difference to your bill."

Bob and Lea Anderson, a highly-experienced real estate team with Royal LePage Solutions in Calgary, couldn't agree more.

"We notice a significant increase in interest by our clients in finding homes that are energy-efficient and that have up-to-date heating systems. Homes that have also had a recent energy audit and upgrades also catch the attention of potential buyers. Undoubtedly, this will result in a higher selling price for the vendor." 

When looking at an average Canadian home(1) a homeowner could potentially save as much as $980, or 25.9 per cent, on their annual heating bill by implementing three upgrades:

Upgrade to a high efficiency furnace:

  • Replacing a conventional furnace(2), with a high efficiency furnace can result in savings of up to $565 per year, or 15 per cent on heating bills
  • Consumers replacing their conventional furnace2 for the first time could see an additional saving of $400 through the currently available provincial government rebate program(3)

Insulate – top and bottom:

  • Topping up the insulation in an attic and insulating the basement can result in savings of up to $307 per year, or 8.13 per cent on heating bills(4) 
  • Provincial rebates3 on attic and basement insulation can total as much as $3,150

Seal leaks:

  • Sealing leaks with weather stripping and caulking can save up to $108 per year, or 2.9 per cent on heating bills
  • Potential additional saving of up to $190 through provincial rebate program3 for air sealing

Additional simple energy efficiency tips include:

  • Prevention is the best medicine: a furnace is more likely to fail after being dormant all summer long. Test your furnace before the cool weather arrives to ensure everything's up and running before the first cold snap.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter: by cleaning or replacing your filter every 2-3 months can protect against a 5-10% energy loss per year.
  • Clean your ducts: cleaning your ducts will enable your home ventilation system to operate more efficiently, while also improving indoor air quality.
  • Get a home energy audit: to identify areas where your home can be more energy efficient – like window and doors, or water consumption. You may also qualify for a provincial rebate if you implement the suggested changes.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over eight 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 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

About the Angus Reid Survey Data

Data was derived from online surveys conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on behalf of Direct Energy in September 2010. The survey was conducted among a randomly-selected, representative sample of 1009 adult Canadians aged 18 and over who are members of the Angus Reid Forum online panel. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

(1) 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 and two stories. Savings calculated using HOT2000 software, Natural Resource Canada's recognized standard tool for use by trained and certified energy auditors.

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

(3) Customer may need to qualify for rebates in Alberta. 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 with the appropriate government agency. 

(4) Savings calculated based on attic insulation rated as R50 or higher, and basement insulation rated R30 or R40.

(5) Direct Energy and the Lightning Bolt design are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Direct Energy Marketing Limited in the United States and/or Canada.  Use of such trademarks has been licensed by Direct Energy Marketing Limited to its various subsidiaries and affiliates.

Contact Information

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