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Peaking Out: Torontonians Irritated by Electricity Wasters Toronto Hydro Asks Customers to Conserve This Week

AUG 8, 2007 - 10:30 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2007)

With the continuation of hot, muggy weather this week, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) thinks it's a good time to highlight what makes Torontonians "peak out"? The answer is clear: Wasted electricity. A recent study conducted by Toronto Hydro shows that half of Torontonians are frustrated when they witness people and businesses wasting electricity. This is most relevant during the hot days of summer.

With today expected to reach a high of 30 degrees (not including the humidity), Toronto Hydro is asking customers to conserve electricity to relieve pressure on the local distribution grid. Hot days and warm nights are hard on transformers and power lines, because they don't have a chance to cool down overnight. This can lead to localized power outages.

Have your doors open while your air conditioning is on? You're making Torontonians "peak out" too - 80 per cent openly express their agitation when they see business' doors wide open while the air conditioning is blasting. Air conditioning can account for up to 50 per cent of your hydro bill, so customers should use it wisely to ease the impact on air quality and the 'bottom line'.

Other Findings Include:

  • The top two major irritations Torontonians face this summer include people talking loudly on cell phones (75%) and traffic (65%).
  • The thought of another electrical blackout (36%) placed fourth but more than doubled from 16% last year, indicating we're becoming increasingly more concerned about the reliability of electricity supply.
  • The majority of Torontonians (85%) would be extremely or very irritated if the power were to go out while they were working on a project due the next day, especially those aged 18 to 34. Most would be just as irritated if they were preparing for a dinner party (77%) or watching their favourite TV show (56%). One-half of men (51%) "peak out" at the thought of having to stop watching a major sporting event, like the Stanley Cup playoffs, while one-third of women (31%) would be irritated if the power went out while blow drying or styling their hair.
  • Over nine-in-ten Torontonians (93%) conserve electricity because it is the right thing to do and the same number of Torontonians think business are not doing enough. A similar majority of Torontonians (94%) think office towers should turn off their lights at night.
  • Half of Torontonians (50%) are irritated by stores with multiple televisions turned on.
  • One-in-six Torontonian workers (16%) say their workplace has a policy to keep computers on when leaving for the day.
  • Less than one-in-twenty (4%) Torontonians admit to conserving electricity because they are 'guilted' into it. Younger Torontonians age 18 to 54 are significantly more likely to be 'guilted' into conserving energy than those over age 55. Only 3% of Torontonians say they don't conserve electricity at all.
  • Toronto Hydro asks all customers to look for ways to reduce use, especially at peak times. The peak in Toronto normally occurs in the mid to late afternoon, and represents the point in time during the day when the City's homes, businesses and infrastructure are drawing the most power from the Toronto Hydro grid.


  • Turn air conditioners off if practical. Where cooling is essential, set air conditioning thermostats higher than normal, and advise employees that you are making this temporary adjustment.
  • Reduce lighting levels in offices by 50 per cent (except in areas required for emergency response such as stairwells) by removing every second light bulb. Consider turning off ceiling lights from work areas located one or two rows from office windows.
  • Reduce the numbers of elevators and escalators that are in service. Waiting times will be longer, but energy consumption will be reduced. Advise building tenants that you have made this adjustment.
  • Where practical and with regard to maintaining proper hygiene, reduce the availability of electrically heated hot water in the building.
  • Ensure outside security lights are turned off during the day.
  • Turn off computer monitors and other office equipment when not in use.


  • Join peaksaver to help alleviate stress on the system. By allowing Toronto Hydro to periodically cycle down your central air conditioner, you can help reduce peak demand without even noticing! www.torontohydro.com/peaksaver
  • Turn air conditioners and other appliances off if practical, and especially when you leave home. Where cooling is essential, set thermostats several degrees higher than normal.
  • If practical, open windows to draw in naturally cool air if possible. For southern and western exposures, close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and maintain cooler indoor temperatures.
  • Reduce lighting levels and turn lights off when leaving the room. Turning of all but essential internal and external lights. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • For cooking, use microwave ovens if possible.
  • Where practical, dry clothes by hanging them outside.
  • Minimize the use of hot water. If possible, take showers instead of baths.
  • Refrain from using major appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers and swimming pool pumps until after 8:00 p.m.

For more tips on how to conserve electricity, visit www.torontohydro.com

About Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited
A wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto Hydro Corporation, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited delivers electricity through a complex network of poles, wires and underground structures to 678,000 customers and distributes approximately 18 per cent of the electricity in the province of Ontario. Toronto Hydro Corporation is owned 100 per cent by the City of Toronto.

Note: This online poll was conducted between May 22nd and May 30th, 2007 and was based on a randomly selected sample of 728 English speaking Torontonian adults aged 18+ (528 working full-time or part-time) using Decima's proprietary consumer panel, eVox. With a random probability sample of this size, the results are theoretically considered accurate to within (3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire Torontonian adult population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within subgroupings of the survey population. Data have been weighted to ensure the sample is representative of the gender, age and employment status distribution in the City of Toronto.

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited
Tanya Bruckmueller
(416) 542-2621 or Cell: (416) 902-9437
Email: tbruckmueller-wilson@torontohydro.com
Website: www.torontohydro.com