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Festive light exchange lights up Toronto one LED at a time

Seasonal conservation program takes 2 Megawatts off Toronto Hydro's Grid

    -   Thousands of Toronto residents in 18 communities combine to take
        18,500 strings of old incandescent Holiday Season lights off the grid
    -   A record 10,000 boxes of super-efficient seasonal LED lights
        distributed at neighbourhood events city-wideTORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto
Hydro"), in partnership with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement
Areas (TABIA) and the City of Toronto's Cavalcade of Lights, has wrapped its
fifth annual 'Festive Light Exchange' program to knock approximately 2 MW off
the City's power grid this holiday season.
    Torontonians showed their conservation spirit by braving cold
temperatures to exchange one free string of energy-efficient LED seasonal
lights in exchange for two strings of old, energy-wasting incandescent
seasonal lights. This year, a record 18,500 strings were collected throughout
18 events hosted in Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) across the City.
    "The continuing success of the program shows us that Torontonians are
interested in finding simple ways to conserve all year long," said David
O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Hydro Corporation.
"Through initiatives like the Festive Light Exchange we can work with
neighbourhoods to collectively save electricity and help the environment."
    Since the program began five years ago, approximately 41,500 old,
inefficient strings have been retired overall. That's enough electricity saved
to power 2,747 homes. This year's program was no exception with 3,500 more
strings collected than in 2007 and 10,000 LED boxes distributed to efficiently
brighten the City this Holiday Season. Seasonal LED lights use up to 95 per
cent less electricity than traditional, incandescent lights. All copper,
plastic and glass collected from the old strings of incandescents is fully
recycled by Toronto Hydro.
    The events also provide Toronto Hydro with an opportunity to educate
Torontonians about further actions they can take to conserve all year round.
Through community outreach events such as the Festive Light Exchange, the
utility was able to increase enrollments in its peaksaver® program by
10,000. peaksaver is a switch that is installed on central air conditioners to
cycle them down when electricity is in high demand.
    In 2008, Toronto Hydro removed approximately 28 MW off the grid with its
portfolio of conservation and demand management programs. In total, that's
enough homes to power a town the size of Grimbsy.
    For more information on Toronto Hydro-Electric System's electricity
conservation programs, visit http://www.torontohydro.com/powerwise.