Veridian customers power down for Earth Hour

AJAX, ON, March 31 /CNW/ - Veridian customers once again embraced the darkness and turned off their lights to celebrate Earth Hour and to show their commitment to energy conservation. Electricity use between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night was 1.6 per cent lower than normally expected; a reduction of about 5 megawatts (MW) and equivalent to removing almost 2,000 homes from the grid.

All of the communities served by Veridian contributed to the success of Earth Hour, with Clarington registering the greatest impact with a reduction of 2.6 per cent. This is the third year in a row that Clarington achieved the greatest Earth Hour savings amongst the communities served by Veridian.

Veridian's President and CEO Michael Angemeer points out that Earth Hour provides the opportunity for people to think about their energy use. "Earth Hour draws attention to what can be done to combat climate change while at the same time, it reminds us of the value of electricity in our everyday lives," says Angemeer. "The event also serves as a catalyst to promote further efforts in conservation and protecting the environment year round."

The results for Earth Hour 2010 are less than the 3.8 per cent reduction reported by Veridian following last year's celebration. The weaker numbers could be attributed to the temperatures being much cooler this year than during Earth Hour last year, so even though lights were turned off, heaters and furnaces were more than likely turned on.

Forecasting variables make it difficult to calculate the impact of customer conservation efforts with complete accuracy. To determine the impact of Earth Hour, Veridian forecasts the amount of electricity that would have been used by its customers based on normal consumption patterns, and then compares this to actual energy use during the hour.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market, reported that Ontario saw a four per cent drop in electricity demand Saturday night during Earth Hour, or enough to power a city the size of Brampton.

Veridian joined its customers in recognizing Earth Hour by encouraging all of its employees to take part and all non-essential equipment in its facilities was switched off for the hour.

In cooperation with the Ontario Power Authority, Veridian offers a number of electricity conservation programs to help customers save money and reduce environmental impacts. Details are available at the company's website at www.veridian.on.ca.

Veridian Connections Inc. safely and reliably delivers electricity to more than 111,000 customers in the Cities of Pickering and Belleville, the Towns of Ajax, Port Hope and Gravenhurst, and the communities of Uxbridge, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono, Port Perry, Beaverton, Sunderland and Cannington. Veridian Connections Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Veridian Corporation. The City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Municipality of Clarington and the City of Belleville jointly own Veridian Corporation.

SOURCE Veridian

For further information: For further information: Chris Mace, Sales & PR Representative - Corporate Communications, Veridian Connections Inc., (905) 427-9870, extension 2218

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