April 07, 2011 07:00 ET

Canadians Put Their Money Where Their Mouth is on Energy Efficiency

New Data Shows That Canadians Rank Energy Efficiency Highly When Purchasing Home Appliances

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2011) - Canadians support action on climate change, a fact which is consistently demonstrated in surveys and opinion polls. Recent polling from WWF, conducted following Earth Hour 2011, shows that 84 per cent of Canadians are as or more convinced than last year that urgent action on climate change is necessary.

But, does this conviction translate into Canadians taking action in their own lives to reduce their impact on the planet?

New data from Sears Canada suggests that Canadians are increasingly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to energy efficiency in their own homes. The data, which maps the changes in purchases of appliances from 2008 (when WWF's Earth Hour began in Canada) to 2011, shows a marked increase in the prioritization of energy efficiency as a decision-making factor for major home purchases. The research conducted in February 2011 found that an appliance's ENERGY STAR rating is second only to price when Canadians are selecting a new product, ahead of even technical features, appliance brand and financing options.

What's more, a growing number of Canadians are willing to pay a premium for products that are ranked as the most energy efficient. While sales of appliances overall has held steady, sales of the most efficient products have doubled since 2008. This shows that even in a tighter economy, that Canadians are not just choosing the lowest price point appliances or the lowest priced ENERGY STAR-qualified products.


While the growth in purchasing the most efficient products has been seen from coast to coast, some provinces are embracing the message more than others. The following is a ranking of each region's increase in purchases of high efficiency appliances since 2008:

    Quebec 270%  
    Atlantic 195%  
    Ontario 160%  
    Pacific 140%  
    Prairies 108%  


"This shift in consumer behaviour demonstrates the degree to which Canadians have embraced the critical message about energy efficiency," said Dr. James Gray-Donald, Sustainability Leader, Sears Canada. "Many of our customers who are already recycling and have some CFLs are keen to upgrade to energy efficient appliances in order to control their energy bills and reduce their impact on the planet."

"Earth Hour is a critical time in the year to consider what we can each do to fight climate change," explains Josh Laughren, Director, Climate and Energy Program, WWF. "We are encouraged to see that Canadians are 'going beyond the Hour' with their energy choices. Along with investments in renewable energy, reducing our energy consumption through efficiency and conservation is an important part of the transition to clean energy."

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people thrive with nature. www.wwf.ca.

About Sears Canada

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 196 corporate stores, 268 hometown dealer stores, 33 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.

About WWF's Earth Hour

In Canada, Sears Canada, Citytv, OMNI Television and the Toronto Star are the national sponsors. In Ontario, Bullfrog Power and The Ontario Power Authority are the official sponsors. www.EarthHourCanada.org.

About the research:

The survey was conducted with a representative sample of 1,000 Canadians from across Canada. The survey was completed online between February 25th and March 1st and has a confidence of +/- 5%.

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