Councillor Carroll gets creative with design and efficiency to cut costs

TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2011 /CNW/ - Water, sewer, gasoline and electricity costs have all risen in the last five years1. Increases in costs are largely attributable to needed investment in infrastructure. Equipment has a shelf life; much of Toronto's infrastructure was built post war in the 50s and 60s.  It is prudent to have a plan to replace it before it breaks...same thing goes for at home. Customers who are thinking about upgrading their old furnace or a/c system with more efficient models, or those about to embark on a major renovation, should know that energy-efficient homes, supported by Toronto Hydro-Electric System's (Toronto Hydro) program incentives2, can help decrease electricity costs and improve your monthly budget; no one knows this better than Councillor Shelley Carroll.

Councillor Carroll, lives in a recently renovated post-war home in the Don Valley East area and says she is enjoying the financial benefits achieved with a more energy efficient home. That's why the Councillor is encouraging her neighbours, constituents and friends to take charge of their electricity bills through her participation in Toronto-Hydro's 'It's Easy to Conserve' campaign. Torontonians have access to incentives - like the HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVE program - which can provide up to $650 in returns.

"Lighting and heating our house costs about half what it did before the renovations, and moving to high efficiency appliances has made a massive difference," says Councillor Carroll. "Our house is as green as we could afford to make it. Our energy bill is as low as we could afford to take it. I hope our house inspires people to go back to their own house and think what they can do quickly and cheaply to reduce their energy bill."

Customers can see Councillor Carroll's home improvements through her 'It's Easy To Conserve' video at facebook.com/torontohydro.

Needed investments in electricity infrastructure will push the cost of electricity distribution up in the coming years, which is largely in line with other consumer services. Still, the relative cost of electricity to an average Toronto household has not increased significantly over the past decade. In fact, as a percentage of total non-discretionary household spending, it has dropped from 2.3 percent to 1.53.

"We want our customers to know that by taking advantage of incentive programs and making changes in your home, customers can see an impact on their monthly bill," says Toronto Hydro's Catherine Parry, Director, Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience. "Often times, upgrades to do with replacing your central air or heating unit can be delayed, but with the dollar impact gained from running efficient equipment, it really is worth looking for a participating contractor to make the change sooner."

In addition to using Time-of-Use electricity rates, and the web portal at torontohydro.com/tou to their benefit, residential customers can manage electricity costs by participating in one or more of the following energy saving initiatives:

Get more than $125 in savings on household products with Downloadable coupons. Customers can download coupons from torontohydro.com to save money on compact fluorescent light bulbs, Energy Star® qualified ceiling fans, motion sensors, dimmer switches, timers and power bars.

Save approx. $125 annually with Fridge removal. Customers can have their old energy-guzzling fridges and freezers that are at least 15 years old, removed at no charge.  Call 1-877-797-9473 or go online to book an appointment today.

Up to $650 towards a Heating/Cooling system replacement. When customers hire a participating contractor to replace their old air conditioning system or furnace with an energy-efficient model, they become eligible for financial incentives up to $650.

Other local Torontonians taking part in Toronto Hydro's new social media campaign include: the Chief of Toronto Police Services, Bill Blair, culinary superstar Brad Long, master contractor and television celebrity Jim Caruk, newly-elected MP for Scarborough Southwest Dan Harris, and eco-developer and Cleantech Advisor Tom Rand. Videos can be viewed online at facebook.com/torontohydro.

About Toronto Hydro

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 705,000 customers located in the City of Toronto.  It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

The information in these materials is based on information currently available to Toronto Hydro Corporation and its affiliates (together hereinafter referred to as "Toronto Hydro"), and is provided for information purposes only. Toronto Hydro does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the information and undertakes no obligation to revise or update these materials. Toronto Hydro (including its directors, officers, employees, agents and subcontractors) hereby waives any and all liability for damages of whatever kind and nature which may occur or be suffered as a result of the use of these materials or reliance on the information therein.

Links:

Time of Use - torontohydro.com/tou

Twitter - twitter.com/torontohydro

Facebook - facebook.com/torontohydro

YouTube - youtube.com/torontohydro

_____________________________________

1 Source: Water - City of Toronto, Utilities

Gas - © 2011 Ed Wiebeecwiebe@ uvic.ca

Natural Gas - Ontario Energy Board


2 Funded by the Ontario Power Authority and delivered by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited


3 Statistics Canada, Spending Patterns in Canada, Catalogue no. 62-202-X


SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information:

Jennifer Link 
jlink@torontohydro.com
416-542-2725


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