Direct Energy

Direct Energy

March 19, 2008 10:15 ET

Direct Energy Supports Earth Hour 2008

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - Direct Energy is proud to support Earth Hour 2008 by encouraging its customers and employees to turn off their lights for one hour on March 29, 2008, at 8:00pm to raise awareness about climate change.

"We support Earth Hour and its message that small actions can have a major impact and encourage our employees and customers to participate," stated Adele Malo, chair of Direct Energy's Climate Change Committee. "Whether through the installation of energy efficient windows or HVAC equipment or the purchasing of a carbon neutral natural gas plan, Direct Energy strives to continually provide our customers with services and information to help them become more energy efficient."

An example of Direct Energy's commitment to the environment is the Direct Energy Home Energy Conservation trial program currently underway in Milton, Ontario. The program provides tools that include a web-based graphic screen and smart home hardware that helps participating residents manage their energy consumption and reduce their environmental footprint. Direct Energy is promoting Earth Hour to participants on the web interface that is used to access their system. Any of the Milton program participants who take part in the Earth Hour challenge can go back into the system to see the impact of their actions and access a graph that shows how much energy and money they saved by cutting their energy use for that hour.

Currently there are over 60 Canadian cities set to participate in Earth Hour. Below, Direct Energy has calculated the potential carbon emissions and power savings if every private dwelling were to participate in 10 of the registered cities.

Total electricity saved Carbon dioxide Number of cars
City in kilowatts emissions saved off the road

Toronto 2,347,600 565.77 109.01
Montreal 1,985,418 17.87 3.44
Vancouver 1,085,209 33.64 6.48
Calgary 543,184 501.9 96.71
Edmonton 533,809 493.24 95.04
Hamilton 346,044 83.4 16.07
Halifax 207,770 158.53 30.55
Kelowna 89,570 2.78 0.54
Kingston 86,748 20.91 4.03
Guelph 64,600 15.57 3.00

"In the 10 cities that we looked at, there is the potential for eliminating close to 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking over 350 vehicles off the road for a year. All in just one hour. Imagine the impact that long-term energy reduction efforts would have," added Ms. Malo.

Direct Energy offers five tips that will help reduce energy usage throughout the year:

- Weather strip doors and windows - Up to 30 per cent of cooling/heating in a home can be lost through poorly fitted windows and doors. Using weather stripping and caulking to seal air leaks can save nearly $150 per year on your energy bill.

- Install a programmable thermostat - If you reduce the temperature in your home by one degree Celsius over a seven-hour period each day, you can save one per cent on your heating bill.

- Switch from incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs - CFL bulbs use two-thirds less energy, generate less heat and have a significantly longer life span. Installing six CFL bulbs will save over $60 per year on your electricity bill.

- Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner - New high-efficiency furnaces use up to 35 per cent less fuel than an older system. Central air conditioning units that meet 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) requirements are up to 30 per cent more efficient than a 10 SEER system.

- Ensure attic insulation is at least 12 inches thick - Proper insulation will help keep the hot air out in the summer and the cool air out in the winter. Upgrading attic insulation to RSI 6 (R34) will save $20 to $70 per year on your energy bills.

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 Texas, the north-eastern United States and across Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit For more information on Earth Hour, visit

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