'Green days' ahead for Albertans as almost three-quarters would pay more for
an environmentally friendly home

    
               - TD Canada Trust releases 3rd Green Home Poll -

    -   80% of Albertans who are willing to pay more for environmentally
        friendly homes say that cost savings on their energy bills are a main
        motivation

    -   Nearly one-quarter (23%) of Albertans have done or plan to undergo a
        green home renovation
    

TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - The benefits of owning a 'green' home are obvious to Albertans with 73% of home owners in the province saying they would be willing to pay a premium on a house or condo that includes environmentally friendly features, according to the TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll.

Money is key for Albertans

Of Albertans who are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly homes, 80% say that cost savings on energy bills is a main motivation. Albertans who are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly homes also do so for other reasons: 50% say they want to reduce their environmental impact or that of their family, and 43% believe there are health benefits to living in an environmentally friendly home.

"This is the third year that Canadians have told us that they will pay more for a home with environmentally friendly features and, as more and more homes are being built with green features included, the housing industry is making it easier for home buyers to find environmentally friendly options," says Chris Wisniewski, AVP, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust.

Green home renovations: A little education could go a long way

Albertans are drawn to environmentally friendly home renovations and upgrades. Twenty-three per cent of Albertans have done a green home renovation or are planning to do one in the future. Another 26% of Albertans would like to carry out a green home renovation, but don't know where to start. TD Canada Trust makes it a little easier for home owners to find information about green home renovations and upgrades by offering links on their website (www.tdcanadatrust.com/greenhome/index.jsp) to several organizations such as Natural Resources Canada and other agencies.

In addition, government incentives, such as the federal government's ecoENERGY program, which offers grants for residential energy saving improvements(1), encourage Albertans to make changes. Seventy-three per cent of Albertans are interested in participating in an energy saving program and 5% are already participating in a program. Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents say they are more likely to make energy efficient upgrades if they benefit from tax credits. In addition, 52% per cent of Albertans are likely to consider an environmental assessment prior to home renovations.

"Environmentally friendly choices can benefit the health of our families - including our financial health - and it can be easy to take advantage of them," says Wisniewski. "With Earth Day(R) right around the corner, it's the perfect time for Alberta home owners to assess how green their homes are and make some positive changes."

Albertans at home choose environmentally friendly options

Almost nine in ten Albertans choose greener home maintenance options. For example, Albertan home owners are disposing of chemical products at the appropriate disposal centre (58%), avoiding pesticide use (49%) and buying household care products in bulk or concentrated versions to reduce packaging (48%). Among the home improvements home owners have already undertaken or are planning to undertake in the next 12 months, replacing existing fixtures, such as replacing regular light bulbs with CFL light bulbs (53%) and applying weather-stripping and caulking to stop drafts (45%), top the list. Other popular improvements for Albertans include replacing or upgrading windows (37%), replacing kitchen appliances with more energy-efficient models (28%) and changing lighting fixtures to accommodate low wattage lighting (27%).

Additional Poll Highlights

    
    -   Of those home owners willing to pay more, Albertans (80%),
        Ontarians (82%) and British Columbians (80%) are the most likely to
        say that cost savings on energy bills is their main motivation
        (versus 77% nationally).

    -   Albertans (52%) and Quebecers (51%) are the least likely to consider
        an environmental audit prior to finalizing their renovation plans
        (versus 59% nationally).
    

About TD Canada Trust green home products

TD Canada Trust has two ways that customers can save money and help protect the environment, the Green Mortgage and the Green Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Both products offer a lower interest rate and rebates on certain purchases, while giving back to the environment. As well, when customers receive their rebate, TD Canada Trust donates $100 to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

About the TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll

The TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll surveyed adult Canadians from across the country who own a home or are considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months, to explore the relationship between the environment and home purchase or home renovations. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, a division of Vision Critical, on March 12, 2010 with English and French speaking Canadians 18+. The sample size includes 1,494 men and women, including 143 Albertans.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$567 billion in assets on January 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

Earth Day(R) is a trade-mark of Earth Day Canada (1991) Inc., used with the permission of Earth Day Canada (1991) Inc.

    
    --------------------------------------
    (1) "ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes Grants." Natural Resources Canada.
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/retrofit-homes/apply.cfm?attr=4
    

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Anne Locke, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca, alocke@paradigmpr.ca; Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-3375, tashlin.hirani@td.com


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