Direct Energy

Direct Energy

February 27, 2008 07:30 ET

Leap Year Will Cost Ontarians and Albertans Says Direct Energy

Energy conservation can help make up the difference

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2008) - Don't let 2008 being a leap year cost you more in energy. February 29th is more than just a rare occurrence, it will have an impact on people's pocket books, costing Ontarians an additional $24.5 million and Albertans an additional $7.8 million(1) in energy costs (electricity and natural gas) for the extra day on the calendar.

The millions of refrigerators, furnaces, dishwashers and washing machines that run each day will be working a little extra this year due to it being a leap year. Individually, it will cost consumers a few dollars for the extra day, but collectively these costs add up.

"An extra day of energy consumption might not seem like a lot, but most people would be surprised to find out just how much energy their homes use on a daily basis," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas, Direct Energy. "A leap year only comes once every four years, but we should use the extra day as a reminder of the impact we have on the world every day."

The extra day also means that Ontarians will produce and extra 109,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to support the extra day on the calendar; Albertans will generate 38,000 tonnes(2). These emissions are another reason for homeowners to take the necessary steps to ensure they reduce their carbon footprint.

February 29th provides a great opportunity for Canadians to do a home energy consumption audit. After learning how much energy they use day-to-day, home-owners can adopt energy-saving practices to reduce unnecessary energy consumption, as well as their energy bills.

Direct Energy is recommending these measures to reduce usage/carbon emissions and maximize efficiency:

- Install a programmable thermostat and set it so that the temperature decreases at night and when no one is home

- Switch from incandescent lighting to high efficiency compact fluorescent bulbs and turn off all lights when leaving rooms

- Unplug vampire electronics - devices including mobile phone chargers and computers that draw power from outlets even when they're turned off

- Set kilowatt goals for lowering home energy consumption and track from month-to-month

- Weather strip doors and windows to keep heat from escaping the home

- Ensure the home is properly insulated; to keep heat from escaping, insulation should be at least 12 inches deep

- Upgrade to newer, high efficiency appliances

- Purchase one of Direct Energy's carbon neutral natural gas plans. Direct Energy purchases carbon offsets, on the homeowner's behalf, equivalent to the emissions generated from the natural gas used in the home.

Making energy-conscious decisions around the home is an easy way to reduce energy usage and save on energy bills.

For additional money- and energy-saving tips, consumers may visit

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 northeastern United States and across Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit

(1) - Calculated using the number of households in Ontario and Alberta multiplied by Direct Energy's estimate of a household's gas and electricity consumption per day times current market rates.

(2) - Calculated using the number of households in Ontario and Alberta multiplied by carbon dioxide emission figured calculated on

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