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Keep Cool launch turns up the cool quotient to save electricity this summer
Clean Air Foundation, Toronto Hydro and The Home Depot Canada Launch the Fourth Annual Keep Cool Program TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - Two massive structures made from recycled air conditioners and old-fashioned human, green power were assembled today in the middle of Yonge-Dundas Square to officially launch Keep Cool 2008 - a joint program of the Clean Air Foundation and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto Hydro") in partnership with The Home Depot Canada designed to reduce electricity consumption. Keep Cool is a conservation and demand management campaign that encourages Torontonians to permanently retire and recycle their old, inefficient room air conditioners and adopt cleaner more efficient cooling alternatives. Over the past four years, Keep Cool has successfully retired more than 18,000 units in Toronto. In 2007 alone, 6,000 old, inefficient room air conditioners were retired. This represents a reduction of 4.5 megawatts of peak demand energy - enough electricity to power almost 3,000 homes. At the launch, The Honourable Gerry Phillips, Minister of Energy, remarked on the overall impact of this and other conservation programs. "These structures are a symbol of the conservation efforts Torontonians have made since the Province committed to building a conservation culture in 2005 - they also demonstrate that small actions like recycling old air conditioners can add up to bigger picture savings of electricity and money." Beginning May 31st, Toronto-area residents can recycle their old room air conditioners at any Toronto The Home Depot location and receive a $25 gift card from the store for each returned unit, up to a maximum of five gift cards. The program runs for three consecutive weekends ending June 15th. "Participating in Keep Cool is another simple way to reduce the strain on the City's electricity grid this summer," said David O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Hydro Corporation. "Every year, we've surpassed our collection goals for the program - and once again, we're confident that Torontonians will help us retire 5,000 more old units." "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to take measurable actions to improve air quality," said Ersilia Serafini, Executive Director of the Clean Air Foundation. "We're giving Torontonians the opportunity to turn their old room air conditioners into cash and reduce their environmental footprint. It's a win-win situation!" Aside from carbon dioxide, rust and erosion from old room air conditioning units emit harmful refrigerants (CFCs and HCFCs) and nitrogen oxide directly into your home and the air you breathe. Keep Cool participants will save more than the environment by retiring their old units. Older room or window air conditioners use 30 to 70 per cent more energy than newer ENERGY STAR models. Switching to a newer room air conditioning model could cut cooling expenses in half. "This program is a great way for Toronto-area residents to do their part to reduce electricity consumption and improve air quality while being rewarded for their efforts," said Peg Hunter, VP of Marketing & Communications, and The Home Depot Canada. "Getting people to remove these old, inefficient air conditioners from their homes will save them money and help the environment." All units that are turned in are recycled in an environmentally responsible way. This not only includes adhering to all regulations governing refrigerants, but also making sure oils, capacitors, recyclable metals and plastics are taken care of. For more program information or to learn about other conservation and demand management programs, visit www.torontohydro.com. About the Clean Air Foundation The Clean Air Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing, implementing and managing public engagement programs and strategic approaches leading to measurable emissions reductions, air quality improvement and climate protection. The Foundation manages seven public engagement programs - Car Heaven™, Mow Down Pollution™, Keep Cool™, Go Solar, Switch the 'Stat, Switch Out and Cool Shops™. About Toronto Hydro-Electric System 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.