Canadians taking some action to reduce greenhouse gases, but don't consider their homes a major source of emissions

    Home improvement store employee just as likely to spur more action as PM

    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - A new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of
Icynene has found more than three-quarters (79%) of Canadian homeowners claim
to have taken 'some' or 'a lot' of action to reduce greenhouse gases, yet only
three per cent believe their homes and offices contribute most to apparent
increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
    The poll of more than 1,200 Canadian homeowners found nearly a third 
(31%) admit they don't know much about environmental issues and the impact of
greenhouse gas emissions and only 16% claim to have done 'a lot' to reduce
emissions in their own homes.
    With the operation of buildings accounting for as much as 40% of
greenhouse gas emissions in this country (source: Canada Green Building
Council), learning from the poll suggests Canadians could play a far greater
role than they might think in reducing greenhouse gases at home.

    Greenfluence: Harper vs. home improvement store

    Ipsos Reid asked Canadian homeowners who would most influence them to
take more action on reducing greenhouse gases. According to the poll, a
building organization such as the Canada Green Building Council (49%) and
Dr. David Suzuki (47%), the face of environmentalism in Canada, are the most
likely to influence homeowner action on greenhouse gases.
    Canadians, however, seem to have little faith in the guidance of elected
politicians on environmental issues:

    -   Canadians are just as likely to be influenced to do more to reduce
        greenhouse gas emissions by an employee of a home improvement store
        (16%) as by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (15%)

    -   A TV home improvement personality (37%) is more than two and a half
        times as likely to influence action as Prime Minister Harper (15%)

    Taking action at home

    The poll asked Canadians what specific steps they have taken at home in
the past two years to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing
energy efficiency:

    -   83% have turned down the heat during the winter
    -   61% have sealed air leaks
    -   46% have turned down the air conditioning during the summer
    -   38% have added insulation
    -   29% have switched to a high efficiency heating system

    Jon Eakes, Canada's longest-standing TV home improvement expert, believes
homeowners are taking steps in the right direction, but there's room for them
to have a greater impact on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.
    "Air sealing, one of the most common steps, is frequently achieved by
sealing and caulking piecemeal around windows and doors," says Eakes, "yet
home energy consumption can be reduced by up to 50% alone with an insulation,
like Icynene, that insulates and reduces air leaks in one step throughout the
home during renovations or construction."

    Banning bulbs

    With respect to the role of energy conservation in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, Canadian homeowners were asked what plays the most important role
in helping to conserve energy in a home:

    -   Despite some provincial government plans to phase out incandescent
        lighting, few Canadians (7%) believe compact fluorescent lighting
        plays the most important role in energy conservation

    -   Canadians believe using energy efficient heating and cooling (26%),
        sealing air leaks through windows and doors (25%) and adding
        insulation (18%) play the most important role in energy conservation

    Canadians claim more knowledge, action than U.S. counterparts

    Results of an identical Ipsos Reid-Icynene poll with 1,200 U.S. homeowners
reveal some interesting comparisons with Canadians:

    -   More Americans (46%) than Canadians (31%) agree they do not know much
        about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment

    -   More Americans (36%) than Canadians (21%) say they've done little or
        nothing at all to help reduce greenhouse gases

    -   More Canadians (22%) than Americans (13%) have reduced their car use
        in favour of public transit

    -   Like Canadians, Americans (16%) are just as likely to be influenced
        to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an employee at a
        home improvement store (16%) as by their president, George W. Bush

    "One of the most powerful ways Canadians can take personal action
directed at greenhouse gas reduction is to examine energy conservation
opportunities at home," says Eakes. "If more Canadians took steps such as
ensuring there is absolutely no air leakage when insulating there could be a
widespread benefit in terms of energy savings, healthier, longer-lasting homes
and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."

    About the poll

    The Ipsos Reid poll was conducted on behalf of Icynene between April 19
and April 23, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample
of 1,285 adult homeowners was interviewed online. With a sample of this size,
the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.7 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
population been polled.

    About Jon Eakes

    Jon Eakes is one of television's longest standing home improvement
experts. His practical consumer-friendly tips and real-life solutions have
connected with consumers through programs such as House Hot Line (Life
Network) and Just Ask Jon Eakes (HGTV and the Do-It-Yourself Network).

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Jon Eakes on
energy-saving steps Canadians can take at home, please contact: Peter Boyce
(ext. 231) or Sofie Hondrogiannis (ext. 248), Harbinger, (416) 960-5100

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