Direct Energy

Direct Energy

April 29, 2008 10:00 ET

Direct Energy: Keep Your Cool to Avoid a Thermostat-War

Direct Energy offers temperature truce tips to beat the heat and meet energy conservation goals

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - Mom is in a sweater and claims she can see her breath while dad tries to lower the thermostat again, moaning about heat stroke. Brokering a truce over the temperature, when the warm weather hits, can feel like a diplomatic mission impossible but it doesn't have to.

"Thermostat-wars at home don't have to prevent families from reaching their energy conservation goals or blow their electricity budget," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy. "A little communication and a few simple practices can go a long way to keeping everyone cool and comfortable all summer in Ontario. For example, for every degree a homeowner raises the temperature of their thermostat, they could be saving as much as two per cent or more on the cooling portion of their electricity bill."

Some additional tips to ensure a family's battle over their home's temperature is a thing of the past include:

- Install a programmable thermostat to prevent family members from adjusting it at will and set it to increase at night and when no one is home. By raising the thermostat's temperature by five degrees Celsius at night, homeowners could save 10 per cent on their energy bill.

- Upgrade to newer, high efficiency appliances and cooling systems - central air conditioning units that meet 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) requirements will deliver as much as 28 per cent more efficiency than that of an older, 10 SEER air conditioner.

- Keep the outdoor air conditioner coil clear of toys, dirt, and grass clippings and carefully clean it with a garden hose.

- Ensure the attic is properly insulated. Homeowners can reduce annual energy costs by five to 30 per cent depending on whether they're topping up existing insulation, or adding to an un-insulated attic. Upgrading attic insulation can lead to savings of $20 to $70 per year.

- Consider installing ceiling fans - which are more energy efficient than turning on the air conditioner - to maximize air circulation and move the fresh air throughout the home. Ceiling fans should move the air downwards in the summer and upwards in the winter.

- Up to 30 per cent of cooling in the home can be lost through poorly fitted windows and doors. Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors or upgrade to new, more energy efficient windows to reduce energy consumption. Weather stripping and caulking to seal air leaks can save homeowners approximately $150 per year on their energy bill.

- Switch from incandescent lighting to high efficiency Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) and ask all family members to turn off lights when leaving rooms; CFLs are 75 per cent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and last 10 times as long.

- Unplug vampire electronics - devices including video game consoles and computers that draw power from outlets even when they're turned off can add hundreds of dollars to the annual electricity costs. For example, turning off the home computer everyday, instead of leaving it on "stand-by," could save as much as $60 a year in electricity costs.

- Set family kilowatt goals for lowering home energy consumption and track from month-to-month, and year over year. Celebrating successfully achieving goals is another incentive to get everyone involved with conservation.

For more information on how to avoid thermostat-wars at home, conserve energy and save money, visit www.directenergy.com.

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 21 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com.

Contact Information

  • Direct Energy
    Crystal Jongeward
    (416) 590-3248
    Email: crystal.jongeward at directenergy.com
    Website: www.directenergy.com
    or
    Ketchum Public Relations
    Alison Mullen
    (416) 355-7421
    Email: alison.mullen at ketchum.com