Provincewide Power Pledge Challenge Winners Announced

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WINDSOR, ON, Aug. 16 /CNW/ - Energy conservation action was celebrated here today as the community winners of the 2010 Power Pledge Community Challenge were announced at the annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Held August 11th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Power Pledge Community Challenge Day was supported by almost 90 Ontario communities representing 82 percent of Ontarians. The Power Pledge Community Challenge is one element of a five-month conservation awareness campaign organized by the Ontario Power Authority and sponsored by World Wildlife Canada.

Winners of the Power Pledge Community Challenge competed in two ways:

    
    1.  The communities with the highest number of Power Pledges per capita
        by 8 p.m. on Challenge Day won 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. last Wednesday won the megawatt-reduction category
        and the prestigious Woodstock Cup.

    The winners are:

    Megawatt-Reduction Category          Goderich with a reduction of 5.7
                                         percent. Runners-up: Aylmer (4.9
                                         percent), Kingston (last year's
                                         Woodstock Cup winner, 4.5 percent)
                                         and St. Thomas (4.3 percent).

    Participation Category-Under 10,000  Sioux Lookout with a population of
                                         5,183 had 535 pledges, representing
                                         10.32 percent of its population (it
                                         won in the single pledges per capita
                                         category last year). Runners-up:
                                         Callander, Dryden and Goderich.

    Participation Category-10,000-75,000 Tecumseh with a population of 24,224
                                         had 1,213 pledges, representing 5.01
                                         percent of its population. Runners-
                                         up: Centre Wellington, and tied for
                                         third (to three decimal places)
                                         Brant County and Halton Hills;
                                         Woodstock was a close fourth.

    Participation Category-Over 75,000   Whitby with a population of 111,184
                                         had 2,572 pledges, representing 2.31
                                         percent of its population. Runners-
                                         up: Thunder Bay, Burlington and
                                         Kitchener.

    Participation Category-Regions       Halton Region with a population of
                                         439,256 had 7,045 pledges,
                                         representing 1.6 percent of its
                                         population. Runners-up were:
                                         Waterloo and Niagara.


    Check out how your community did in the pledges per capita competition:

    The Ontario Power Authority Newsroom:
    http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.asp?PageID=5030&SiteNodeID=563

    The Power Pledge LIVE News:
    http://www.powerpledge.ca/the-pledge-live/news

    Check out how your community did in the megawatt reduction competition:

    The Independent Electricity System Operator:
    http://www.ieso.ca/2010.Community.Challenge
    

You can still take the pledge at the Power Pledge website (www.powerpledge.ca) until August 31, 2010. Power Pledgers can earn 20 AIR MILES(R) reward miles and donate an additional 10 reward miles to one of three designated charities.

The Power Pledge campaign encourages all Ontarians to commit to a few simple, meaningful conservation actions that save energy and money, and help protect the environment. The specific focus of the Power Pledge campaign has been to reduce "phantom power" - the current drawn by many household electronic devices even when shut off - by using a power bar. Natural Resources Canada estimates that phantom power consumes as much as 15 percent of a household's annual use of electricity.

To date, the Power Pledge campaign has attracted more than 125,000 pledges. If all pledgers fulfil their commitments, the campaign could have the following collective impacts:

    
    -   a reduction of 281,000,000 kWh of electricity-an average of 2,200 kWh
        per pledge;
    -   an electricity cost savings of $29,000,000-an average of $232 per
        average pledge household;
    -   a reduction in greenhouse gases of 62,300,000 kg-the equivalent of
        taking 10,000 cars off the road.
    

For the most current figures, please visit the Power Pledge website at: www.powerpledge.ca.

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 longstanding leadership of the City of Woodstock by annually awarding the Woodstock Cup to the winner of the megawatt-reduction category.

Quotes

Ontario Power Authority

"While the winners of the Power Pledge Community Challenge have special reason to celebrate their achievement, all Ontarians benefit from a communal commitment to energy conservation," says Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen. "Ontario is pursuing some of the most aggressive energy savings targets in North America. The Power Pledge campaign and the Community Challenge clearly demonstrate we can reach our objectives in a fun and pragmatic way."

Mayor of Woodstock

"This is not about winners and losers," said Michael Harding, Mayor of the City of Woodstock. "We spearheaded the idea of community conservation leadership in the form of the Challenge because we believe everyone wins with energy conservation. We help arm our residents with the conservation tools they need to save money and strengthen our community at the same time."

Electricity Distributors Association

"Ontarians recognize how individual conservation actions can add up to produce meaningful results," said Brian Bentz, Chair of the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA). "Electricity distributors are proud to take part and support this important provincewide initiative. We congratulate the winners in all of the competition categories for their enthusiastic efforts and the well-deserved right they have earned to declare their communities as leaders in conservation."

Association of Municipalities of Ontario

"Conservation just makes sense and everyone wins when we use less electricity," said Peter Hume, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. "This contest proves that we can use less and still live quite comfortably. Hopefully it will inspire people across Ontario to consume less energy every day."

Independent Electricity System Operator

"The Community Challenge shows that Ontarians realize the importance of using electricity more effectively," says IESO President and CEO Paul Murphy. "Combining this type of community-driven energy conservation with smart meters and smart grid technologies will help us all to achieve a more efficient and reliable power system."

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, Photos, Audio (Available Today), Grant Kozlik, Ontario Power Authority, 416-969-6119

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