Province-wide Power Pledge Community Challenge today

Take the Power Pledge online and curb electricity use - everyone wins

TORONTO, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - Today between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., communities across Ontario are competing to be provincial champions in energy conservation.

In today's 2010 Power Pledge Community Challenge, participating Ontario communities are working to win conservation honours, earn valuable renewable energy awards and demonstrate how energy conservation can save money, save energy and help the environment.

Almost 90 municipalities, representing 82 percent of Ontarians, have committed to the Power Pledge Community Challenge. (For a full list of participating communities see below).

There are two ways for communities to win the Power Pledge Community Challenge:

    
    1.  The communities with the highest number of Power Pledges per capita
        by 8 p.m. tonight win both a trophy and a $10,000 award to support a
        local renewable energy project;
    2.  The community achieving the largest reduction in electricity use from
        8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today will win the megawatt-reduction category and
        the prestigious Woodstock Cup.
    

Winners of the Power Pledge Community Challenge will be announced on August 16, 2010, at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's annual conference in Windsor, Ont.

You can help your community win by taking the Power Pledge at www.powerpledge.ca. Power Pledgers can earn 20 AIR MILES(R) reward miles and donate an additional 10 reward miles to one of three designated charities. Pledges will be accepted online until August 31, 2010.

The Power Pledge Community Challenge is part of a five-month conservation awareness campaign that encourages all Ontarians to commit to a few simple, meaningful conservation actions that can have lasting financial and environmental impact.

Key Facts About Energy Conservation and Ontario

    
    -   Energy conservation is less expensive than creating new generation,
        can be implemented faster, has less environmental impact and creates
        local employment. Upfront investments in conservation pay dividends
        for many years after, particularly as the cost of electricity rises.
    -   Local electricity distribution companies offer an array of
        residential and business conservation programs that can help achieve
        lasting energy savings. Complete information is available at
        www.everykilowattcounts.ca.
    -   Phantom power - the electricity consumed by many electronics devices
        turned off but left plugged in - can add up to 15 percent of total
        household consumption. Reducing phantom power through the use of
        power bars is a focus of this year's Power Pledge campaign.
    

The Power Pledge Community Challenge is a collaboration of the Ontario Power Authority, the Electricity Distributors Association, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Independent Electricity System Operator - and their associated members. The campaign also acknowledges the long-standing leadership of the City of Woodstock by annually awarding the Woodstock Cup to the winner of the megawatt-reduction category.

Quote

"We encourage all Ontarians to take the Power Pledge today," says Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen. "Everyone wins when we save energy - it's good for our environment, and conservation creates jobs for Ontarians. The Power Pledge Community Challenge proves we can make a positive difference to our future through smart choices."

Participating Communities

    
    Arnprior           East Gwillimbury  Mississauga         St. Marys
    Aurora             Fort Erie         Newmarket           St. Catharines
    Aylmer             Georgina          Niagara Falls       St. Thomas
    Barrie             Goderich          Niagara-on-the-Lake Stratford
    Belleville         Guelph            Niagara Region      Sudbury
    Blind River        Haldimand County  Norfolk County      Tecumseh
    Brant County       Halton Hills      Oakville            Thessalon
    Brantford          Halton Region     Orangeville         Thorold
    Brighton           Hamilton          Orillia             Thunder Bay
    Brock              Innisfil          Ottawa              Tillsonburg
    Brockton           Ingersoll         Owen Sound          Timmins
    Brockville         Kawartha Lakes    Parry Sound         Toronto
    Burlington         Kenora            Peel Region         Vaughan
    Caledon            King              Pelham              Waterloo
    Callander          Kingston          Penetanguishene     Waterloo Region
    Cambridge          Kitchener         Peterborough        Welland
    Centre Wellington  London            Pickering           Whitby
    Chatham-Kent       Markham           Port Colborne       Whitchurch-
                                                              Stouffville
    Clarington         Meaford           Richmond Hill       Windsor
    Cobourg            Midland           Sarnia              Woodstock
    Collingwood        Milton            Sault Ste. Marie    Woolwich
    Dryden             Minto             Sioux Lookout
    

SOURCE Ontario Power Authority

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority, 416-969-6307, 1-800-797-9604; B-roll & Stills (Available August 16): Grant Kozlik, Ontario Power Authority, 416-969-6119

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