Almost Half Of Albertans Think The Weather This Summer Will Be Hotter Than Average

Temperatures are expected to heat up[1], so dust off that air conditioner, because you may need it this summer

CALGARY, Alberta, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Almost half (47 per cent) of Albertans think that the weather this summer will be hotter than normal, according to a recent survey conducted for Direct Energy. Well Alberta, you may be right as some meteorologists are also predicting a very dry and hotter summer. With the uncommon summer heat coming your way, Direct Energy offers tips for Albertans to keep their homes and their nerves cool.

Traditionally, Albertans don't use air conditioners, as the survey for Direct Energy found. In fact, only one out of four Albertans use an air conditioner to keep their home cool. But with a warmer and unpredictable summer around the corner, Albertans will want to make sure their central air conditioner is in top shape for the coming months.

"Your air conditioner should be maintained annually to avoid costly equipment repairs and to ensure that you're cooling your home as efficiently as possible," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "A lot of homeowners have the attitude 'if it's not broken don't fix it' towards their A/C unit. Scheduled maintenance will allow it to run more efficiently and help save homeowners money on their energy bills."

Most air conditioning units older than 12 years operate around 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) meaning that they are a lot less energy efficient than today's high efficiency units. To save on their cooling costs, homeowners should consider upgrading to a more efficient 14 SEER unit.

Survey results also showed that forty-two per cent of Albertans don't use a programmable thermostat in their homes.

"Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to regulate your energy usage and control both your cooling costs during the warm summer months and your heating costs during the cold winter months," said Walton. "In the summer, set the thermostat higher during the day when nobody is home, and at night when outdoor temperatures are cooler. By raising the thermostat's temperature by five degrees Celsius, homeowners could save as much as 10 per cent on their energy bill."

As long as homeowners are prepared it is possible to keep your home cool and avoid bill shock from unexpected inflated energy costs even with hotter temperatures predicted for Alberta this summer.

Additional findings from the Direct Energy survey reveal that forty-one per cent of Albertans think that last summer was cooler than average. The survey also showed that:

  • While most Albertans are not overly concerned about the cost of maintaining a steady temperature, women (45%) are more concerned than men (37%) about the cost issue.
  • Sixty-one per cent of Albertans think that it's pretty easy to maintain a steady temperature at home
  • Closing the curtains or blinds (81%), opening the windows and doors (78%) and using fans (75%), are the top preferred ways Albertans keep their home cool during warm summer days.
  • Wearing lighter clothes at home is also a way Albertan use to stay cool during warm summer days (66%).

About the Survey
From May 15th to May 18th 2012 an online survey was conducted among 835 randomly selected Canadian adults who live in Alberta and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.46%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current census data on age, gender, region and education to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Alberta. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over eight million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit http://www.directenergy.com.

[1] From May 15th to May 18th 2012 an online survey was conducted among 835 randomly selected Canadian adults who live in Alberta and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members.

SOURCE Direct Energy

For further information:

For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview with Dave Walton please contact: Anne-Julie Gratton, aj.gratton@directenergy.com, +1-416-605-2396

http://www.directenergy.com


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