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Fourth Quarter Conservation Results for 2006 - Setting the Bar High


    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Six of Ontario's largest local electricity
distribution companies, cooperatively delivering energy conservation programs
as the Coalition of Large Distributors are pleased to provide an update on
activities during the fourth quarter of 2006. Through combined investments,
the group continues to promote energy conservation in their respective service
areas.
    The Coalition of Large Distributors (CLD) including Enersource Hydro
Mississauga, Horizon Utilities Corporation, Hydro Ottawa Limited, PowerStream
Inc., Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited and Veridian Connections Inc.
serves 1.7 million Ontario customers or 40 per cent of the province. In 2005,
the first year of a three-year rollout, these utilities helped their customers
conserve over 110 million kilowatt hours which is enough to power over 12,250
Ontario homes for one year. The CLD continues to deliver new and innovative
programs and is fully committed to the goal of reducing electricity demand and
creating a culture of conservation in Ontario.
    Working with the Conservation Bureau of the Ontario Power Authority
(OPA), the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA), municipalities, other
local electricity distribution utilities, and the Government of Ontario, the
Coalition of Large Distributors is committed to delivering over $70 million in
comprehensive conservation programs over a three-year period, ending in 2007.
In the fourth quarter of 2006, Coalition members spent over $15.4 million on
conservation programs. Over the past two years the group has spent more than
$59.8 million on programs geared to helping customers conserve electricity.
    "Customers are responding to the programs we have in the marketplace and
are reaping the benefits," said David O'Brien, president and CEO, Toronto
Hydro Corporation. "We continue to look for opportunities to work with
manufacturers, retailers, service providers and other allies to build the
conservation culture in Ontario."Highlights for the final quarter of 2006 include:

    ENERSOURCE

    -   Enersource provided a complete lighting retrofit to the Mississauga
        Foodpath food bank saving almost $4,000 year in energy costs and
        demonstrating commitment to supporting residents in the City of
        Mississauga's low income sector.
    -   During the holiday season, Enersource continued its popular Annual
        LED Holiday Light Exchange Program for the 3rd time, distributing
        over 6500 strands of LED festive lights across 4 major events in
        partnership with local Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) and
        Mississauga City Hall.

    HORIZON

    -   Horizon installed and tested 7,500 smart meters as part of a smart
        meter pilot project. Deployment of another 50,000 smart meters will
        commence in March 2007. Horizon Utilities is also playing a key role
        in helping to develop the provincial computer system that will
        analyze the information collected from smart meters across the
        province.
    -   The TAPS program, managed by Enbridge Gas, was a pilot conservation
        program that targeted 2,500 residential hot water tanks within
        Horizon territory. Enbridge, the gas utility provider in St.
        Catharines reached an innovative agreement with Union Gas to operate
        the same program in Hamilton. Horizon Utilities provides four compact
        fluorescent light bulbs to each participating household. In addition,
        two aerators, a shower bag flow test, a low-flow showerhead, a hot
        water tank blanket, and pipe wrap are supplied. If the hot water tank
        is electric, Horizon pays for the cost of these energy-saving
        measures. If gas heats the water, the gas utility covers the costs.

    HYDRO OTTAWA

    -   Hydro Ottawa sponsored a seasonal LED lighting exchange with 51
        Ottawa schools in December. Students and parents were encouraged to
        trade in 2 strings of old incandescent lights for a string of new
        energy efficient LED lights. 2900 strings of old lights were
        recovered and recycled representing annual electricity saving of
        58 thousand kilowatt hours, enough to power 6.5 households for a
        year, and a reduction of 16 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Hydro Ottawa
        is donating $3500 received from the recycling of the old strings of
        lights to school breakfast programs.
    -   Fridge & Freezer Bounty removed 1085 fridges and 748 freezers in Q4
        from Hydro Ottawa customers. This brings to 5000 the total number of
        old inefficient fridges and freezers removed from the grid and
        decommissioned in an environmentally friendly way since the program
        began in Ottawa in June 2005. The program is such a success that it
        will become a province-wide initiative in 2007.

    POWERSTREAM

    -   PowerStream sponsored the Green Energy Home Show at the Kortright
        Centre for Conservation for a second consecutive year. This year's
        event featured 42 vendors and was attended by more than 1,400
        individuals.
    -   The "Haul Away Your Energy Hog" appliance retirement program was
        launched by PowerStream in the Markham area, in partnership with the
        municipality's Energy Conservation Office and Mission Green
        Department. The four-month program encouraged the removal of old
        energy-inefficient refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners
        from residential and business locations.

    TORONTO HYDRO

    -   During the fall Bright Ideas campaign, Toronto Hydro-Electric System
        hosted 228 events at retailers across Toronto, handing out 142,000
        free CFLs, 228,000 coupons for energy-efficient products, and taking
        in 16,000 old incandescent festive lights and 4,800 inefficient
        halogen torchieres. The campaign generated a savings of
        36 million kilowatt hours - the amount of electricity that about
        4,000 homes use in a year.
    -   The Summer Challenge program saved over 79 million kilowatt hours of
        electricity - the amount of electricity that about 8,000 homes use in
        a year. The program challenged customers to reduce their energy
        consumption over the summer months of 2006 in order to receive a
        10 per cent credit on their electricity bill. Over 153,000 customers
        received a Summer Challenge credit.

    VERIDIAN

    -   Veridian partnered with the Home Depot to deliver its 'Great
        Exchange' campaign in the communities of Ajax and Pickering. Event
        days were held over three weekends in October and November. Over the
        course of the campaign customers turned in 323 energy guzzling
        halogen torchiere lamps and 1,857 incandescent holiday light strings
        in exchange for more energy efficient products. A total of
        919 thousand kilowatt hours were saved, enough to power about
        100 homes for a year.
    -   Veridian and two other leading electricity distributors in Durham
        Region jointly launched Generation Conservation, an exciting grade
        five science curriculum-based pilot program. The pilot program is
        currently being delivered in 16 Durham Public and Durham Catholic
        District Schools with the objective of giving youth the knowledge and
        tools needed to become Generation C - a generation of dedicated
        energy conservers. Subject to funding, it is anticipated that the
        program will be rolled-out Region-wide in the fall of 2007.The peaksaver™ program, which was initiated by Toronto Hydro, has
taken root with all members of the CLD. This innovative program is designed to
help customers play a role in reducing the demand on the Province of Ontario's
electricity system. Customers with central air conditioning units can sign up
to have programmable thermostats or load control switches installed on their
equipment at no charge. During periods of peak electricity demand, the utility
may activate the peaksaver units and remotely control the equipment for brief
periods of time in order to reduce load on the system. To date the CLD members
have completed more than 26,000 installations, with another 30,000 customers
targeted for installations in 2007. We are pleased with the initial response
by customers wanting to save energy through the use of professionally
installed programmable thermostats and switches.
    In addition the CLD installed 133,000 smart meters during the last
quarter of 2006 bringing the total installed by the Coalition to more than
310,000. This is in support of the Government's objective to have 800,000
smart meters installed Province-wide by the end of 2007.
    Visit www.powerwise.ca to learn how to conserve energy and save money.