Direct Energy

Direct Energy

February 01, 2011 07:01 ET

Only 60% of Ontarians Say They Change Their Energy Usage Patterns During Extreme Weather Conditions

Direct Energy Offers Quick Tips to Help Ensure the Extreme Cold and Heavy Snow Don't Lead to Extreme Bills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2011) - Extreme cold and lots of snow is what Ontarians have in store this week. With temperatures dipping close to – 30 in many parts of the province, and the biggest snowstorm of the year predicted to arrive over the next thirty-six hours, Direct Energy urges consumers to think about energy efficiency around the house. A recent survey conducted by Direct Energy and Polaris Marketing Research showed that less than one-third of Ontarians felt their households were prepared for extreme weather.

As temperatures dip towards the - 30's in many parts of the province, Ontarians report taking some energy-savings measures to battle the cold; 85 per cent wear extra layers during extreme cold; 56 per cent close shades and blinds to minimize heat loss; and half of Ontarian respondents (50 %) close registers, doors and vents in rooms that are not being used.

"There's still work to be done in helping Canadians become more energy efficient during extreme weather. An extreme drop in temperature doesn't mean your bank balance should drop too due to higher energy bills," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas, Direct Energy. "By implementing a few easy changes, which don't include wearing a snowsuit indoors, consumers can lower their energy usage now and throughout the year."

Energy efficiency quick fixes:

Quick fixes:

1. Layer: throw on an extra sweater or blanket when indoors and lower your thermostat

2. Clear: keep vents clear of rugs, drapes and toys and shut vents and doors in unused rooms to conserve on energy

3. Program: install a programmable thermostat which can automatically lower and raise your home's air temperature when you are at work or sleeping

4. Close: your chimney acts like an open window, conserve your heat by closing the chimney flue when the wood-burning fireplace isn't in use

5. Seal: sealing leaks with weather stripping and caulking can save up to $108 per year, or 2.9 per cent on heating bills in the average Canadian home. Install covers on letterboxes and/or keyholes and install door sweeps in order to reduce indoor drafts

CO Safety:

1. Ensure venting is clear of snow: if you have a high-efficiency furnace, ensure outdoor venting is free of piled or accumulated snow

2. Unconventional heating sources: do not turn to unconventional heating sources, such as gas ovens or outdoor heaters to heat your home during extreme cold

3. Gas fireplaces: ensure that when a gas fireplace is in use, outdoor venting is free of piled or accumulated snow

4. CO detectors: If you haven't already, install carbon monoxide detectors in or just outside of all bedrooms in your home; if you already have CO detectors, check for an expiry date and replace if past due. Average lifespan for a CO detector is about five years

For more energy efficiency tips and information, please visit and navigate to the About Us, Committed to Energy Efficiency section.

About the survey

The Weather-Related Energy Usage Survey, conducted by Polaris Marketing Research on behalf of Direct Energy was conducted through online surveys of 2,478 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 March 2010 with at least 300 qualified respondents in Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas in the United States and Alberta and Ontario in Canada. The margin of error for n=300 is at 95 percent confidence level =±5.7 percent.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over six 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 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

Contact Information

  • For further information, or to book an interview with
    an energy efficiency expert please contact: Direct Energy
    Crystal Jongeward
    Twitter: @cjongeward