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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.