Veridian receives prestigious ENERGY STAR(R) award

AJAX, ON, June 10 /CNW/ - Veridian Connections Inc. was named 'ENERGY STAR Utility of the Year - Regional' for 2010 at a ceremony held yesterday in Ottawa. The award is given by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency to recognize outstanding success in the promotion of ENERGY STAR qualified products, and thereby helping to educate consumers on saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through smart, energy-efficient choices.

"Being selected as the 2010 ENERGY STAR Utility of the Year - Regional recognizes our high level of commitment to promoting energy efficient products," said Michael Angemeer, Veridian's President and CEO. "In an era of rising energy costs and increasing attention to environmental impacts of energy use, we want to provide our customers with the information they need to manage their electricity use. The ENERGY STAR symbol is an easy way for consumers to identify top-of-class products when it comes to energy efficiency."

Veridian's selection as the ENERGY STAR Utility of the Year - Regional was based on a number of criteria, including how well it addressed the 'Five A's' (Availability, Awareness, Accessibility, Affordability and Acceptability) of market transformation through its ongoing conservation efforts. Veridian's 2009 ENERGY STAR promotional efforts included:

    
    -  Look who's hogging your electricity: Launched in the spring of 2009,
       this awareness campaign set-out to educate people about electricity
       consumption by televisions and add-ons. The campaign's brochure and
       Veridian website explain that ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 30
       per cent less energy than standard units in their class.

    -  The Great Refrigerator Roundup: This Ontario Power Authority program
       aims to remove older, inefficient fridges, freezers, window air
       conditioners and dehumidifiers from homes. As a program delivery
       partner, Veridian provided its customers with information on how to
       'right-size' a new refrigerator, and encouraged prospective buyers to
       look for the ENERGY STAR symbol.

    -  PeakBusters: The annual contest run by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance
       rewards actions to reduce peak electricity use. Veridian was a program
       sponsor once again in 2009, and actively promoted the contest during
       community events. The PeakBusters bookmark encourages the purchase of
       ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioners, appliances, electronics,
       compact fluorescent lamps and ceiling fans.

    -  Smart Meter booklet: A leader in the deployment of Smart Meters in
       Ontario, Veridian has installed more than 100,000 meters to date. The
       booklet provided to customers after meters are installed includes a
       reminder that purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and lighting
       is a good way to reduce electricity consumption.

    -  Employee incentives: Veridian employees who want to purchase
       energy-efficient products, including those that qualify for the ENERGY
       STAR symbol, may be eligible for an interest-free loan from the
       company.
    

The selection committee also based its choice on Veridian's commitment to undertake projects that improve uptake of energy-efficient products, willingness to provide financial incentives of ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, commitment to purchase products based on ENERGY STAR specifications, leadership in transforming the market towards energy efficiency and proactive use of the ENERGY STAR symbol.

"Veridian recognizes that conservation is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing Ontario's electricity supply mix and protecting the environment," said Eryn Wishnowski, Veridian's Conservation Program Representative. "Veridian promotes and delivers a number of energy-saving initiatives, and the ENERGY STAR symbol is one of its favourite tools in its conservation efforts."

The ENERGY STAR award follows Veridian's designation as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2010. The award is part of an annual competition, organized by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers project, recognizing employers that lead the nation in making environmental values part of their organizational culture. Winners of the competition have developed earth-friendly initiatives and are attracting employees to their organization because of their environmental leadership.

The ENERGY STAR initiative builds on the Government of Canada's plan to fight climate change, which sets a course to achieve an absolute reduction of 20 per cent in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Veridian Connections Inc. safely and reliably delivers electricity to more than 112,000 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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