Direct Energy

Direct Energy

March 22, 2010 15:42 ET

Direct Energy: Majority of Ontarians Are Not "in the Dark" About Earth Hour

Direct Energy offers tips to make Earth Hour every hour

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - According to a Direct Energy survey, 77 percent of Ontarians understand the goal of Earth Hour, with the majority saying it raises the awareness of climate change. Sixty-four percent of Ontarians plan to take part in the conservation event, now in its fourth year. Of those who plan to participate, at least 70 percent say they will turn off their lights for the hour and run only essential appliances. 

Earth Hour is a worldwide event designed to draw attention to energy conservation. For 60 minutes individuals, businesses, and international landmarks across the globe including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramids, Canada's own CN Tower, and the city skylines of Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, will turn out the lights. Direct Energy encourages all Ontarians to join the nearly one billion people from across the globe who will be participating in Earth Hour this year.

"Earth Hour is a great way to spotlights the considerable impact an hour can make by simply turning off the lights," said Dave Walton, Director Home Ideas, Direct Energy. "But Earth Hour means more than just doing without lights for one hour, once a year. We need to do more to conserve energy around the house throughout the year not only to help the environment but also to save you money on your energy bill."

Over 60 per cent of those surveyed, agree with Direct Energy and believe we need to do more than turn our power off for an hour. For example, the same environmental and financial savings of powering off your entire home for 60 minutes can be achieved by simply avoiding the use of one 60-watt incandescent light bulb for 30 minutes every day. 

More business participation is also needed for Earth Hour to be a success, with only 21 per cent of Ontarians telling Direct Energy their employer plans on participating in the event.

This year, as part of the company's ongoing commitment to supporting Earth Hour, Direct Energy will be offsetting the cost of an average hour of usage for all of its facilities across North America through the purchase of renewable credits. Nearly 60 percent of the company's employees will be committing to taking part in Earth Hour in their own homes.

To help consumers and businesses extend their energy efficiency beyond Earth Hour, Direct Energy offers the following tips:

• Install a programmable thermostat – in spring and summer months, turn it up during the day when nobody is home, and at night when outdoor temperatures are cooler. By raising the thermostat's temperature by five degrees Celsius at night, homeowners could save 10 per cent on their energy bill.

• Caulk and seal leaks - up to 30 percent of a homes heat can be lost through poorly fitted windows and doors. Seal all leaks with caulking and weather stripping; caulking one window that's over 10 years old can save 5-10 per cent in heating costs and is more energy efficient. 

• Turn it off and unplug it - How many times have you found the television watching the room in your house? Remember to turn off lights and electronics whenever you leave a room and unplug all vampire electronics.

• Furnace filters - Changing the furnace filter regularly can save as much as 10 per cent on a gas bill. Clogged furnace filters affect the indoor air quality of the home and can force the furnace to work harder, decreasing efficiency. Change the furnace filter approximately every three-four months. Households with pets may consider changing the filter more often as pet hair and dander affect air quality.

• Understand your energy pricing plan – Make sure you know who your retail electricity and/or natural gas provider is, what type of plan you're on (whether it can change from month-to-month or depending on market changes, or whether it's fixed), what the length of your agreement term is, and when it expires.

About the survey

The Earth Hour Awareness and Participation Survey, conducted by Polaris Marketing Research on behalf of Direct Energy, was conducted through online surveys of 1,816 consumers in both the United States and Canada. Consumers were screened to ensure they were at least 18 years of age. Online interviews were completed in early March with at least 300 qualified respondents in Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas in the United States, and Alberta and Ontario in Canada. The margin of error for n=300 at the 95 per cent confidence level is 5.7 per cent.

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 20 states and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit

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