Ontarians Shudder At The Cost Of Energy Bills This Summer

With hotter temperatures predicted for this summer(1), 69 per cent of homeowners worry about the cost of maintaining their home's cooling temperature

TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The majority (sixty-nine per cent) of Ontarians are concerned with the cost of maintaining a steady temperature in their home during the summer months, according to a recent survey conducted for Direct Energy. With the summer heat already upon us and some meteorologists predicting a hotter summer this year, Direct Energy wants to help Ontarians keep their homes cool and their electricity bill even cooler.

"Homeowners can take control of and worry less about their energy bills this summer by making a few easy changes to their homes," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it based on your living patterns to control your energy usage; and, sealing leaks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulking are two simple tasks that can impact your energy bills positively."

Survey results also showed that seventy-seven per cent of Ontarians use an air conditioner to keep their homes cool during the summer months. Most air conditioning units older than 12 years operate around 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) meaning that they are a lot less energy efficient than newer models on the market. To save on their cooling costs homeowners should be sure to get regular maintenance checks on their existing equipment or, if it is older than 12 years, upgrading to a new 14 SEER unit for even greater savings.

"To help reduce energy usage and keep your central air conditioner working at optimum level, keep the top of the outdoor unit unobstructed and tall grass away from the sides," added Walton. "Also try to use major appliances during off-peak hours and use your microwave or barbeque for cooking and reheating where possible, as both use considerably less energy than the oven."

As long as homeowners are prepared it is possible to keep your home cool and avoid bill shock from unexpected inflated energy costs even with hotter temperatures predicted for Ontario this summer.

Additional findings from the Direct Energy survey reveal that fifty-nine per cent of Ontarians think that last summer was hotter than average and sixty-four per cent are predicting a hotter summer than average for 2012. The survey also showed that:

  • Men (75%) think it's easier than women to keep their house cool but women (72%) are more cost conscious than men when maintaining a steady temperature.
  • Most Ontarians (77%) use air conditioner and curtains or blinds (77%) to keep their home cool during warm summer days.
  • Most home owners in 905 areas (78%) and Hamilton/Niagara (79%) use a programmable thermostat in their home to control usage and cost.

About the Survey
From May 15th to May 17th 2012 an online survey was conducted among 802 randomly selected Canadian adults who live in Ontario and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.46%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current census data on age, gender, region and education to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over eight million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit http://www.directenergy.com

(1) From May 15th to May 17th 2012 an online survey was conducted among 802 randomly selected Canadian adults who live in Ontario and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members.

SOURCE Direct Energy

For further information:

Anne-Julie Gratton of Direct Energy, +1-416-605-2396, aj.gratton@directenergy.com, for further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview with Dave Walton



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