Parents Do Listen To Their Kids...About Some Things

    Children are Greatest Motivators of Energy-Efficient Home Improvements,
    RBC Survey

    TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - Children may not always listen to their
parents, but Canadian parents may actually be listening to their children, at
least when it comes to environmental matters and renovating to make their
homes more energy efficient.
    According to the 2007 RBC/Ipsos Reid Home Renovation Study, a majority   
 (60 per cent) of Canadian home owners who are planning to renovate in the
next two years are catching on to the importance of lessening energy
consumption and say they will choose more ecologically-sensitive options. When
it comes to what motivates a home owner to choose eco-friendly renovations,
the kids handily win out. In fact, home owners are far more likely to be
motivated by their children (55 per cent), than by government (48 per cent),
environmentalists (40 per cent) and celebrity personalities (14 per cent).
    "We are pleased to see Canadians putting the environment on their to-do
list when planning renovations," said Catherine Adams, vice-president, Home
Equity Financing. "With homes being accountable for over six per cent of
Canada's greenhouse gas emissions and 20 per cent of all energy use, what we
do now to make them more efficient has the potential to impact the world our
children will inherit later."
    While energy costs are certainly top-of-mind, the RBC study notes that
making the home more attractive is still by far the most significant reason
among those who intend to renovate in the next two years (61 per cent).
Bathrooms (35 per cent) and kitchens (29 per cent) continue to be the most
popular of all renovation projects and represent prime locations for both
esthetic and energy efficient choices.
    The study notes 92 per cent of homeowners who are planning to renovate
think the concept of a home energy audit is a good idea and 63 per cent would
consider having an environmental audit on their home. Additionally, three out
of four (78 per cent) homeowners are willing to spend more on home renovations
now to save money in the long run through lower utility costs. Also confirming
a turn-around in attitudes towards the environment is that almost one in ten
(nine per cent) say they will choose environmentally-friendly renovations even
if it costs more and does not save money.
    "The best time to carry out large-scale energy-saving home improvements
is while planning other renovations," said Adams. "There are also many small,
simple steps home owners can take to make their homes more environmentally
friendly. For instance, if you're going to redo a kitchen, purchasing
energy-efficient lighting and appliances will actually save money in the long
run. The same goes for water-conserving plumbing fixtures for a new bathroom."

      Percentage Who will include Environmentally Friendly Renovations/Home
      Improvements by Key Demographic:

      BC          64%            Age                    Gender
      Alberta     61%            18-34  58%             Male   58%
      Sask/Man    70%            35-54  61%             Female 62%
      Ontario     66%            55+    62%
      Quebec      47%
      Atlantic    58%

    To encourage homeowners to consider environmentally-sound home
renovations, RBC recently introduced a "Grow an Energy Efficient Home"
program. Under this program, all new RBC Homeline Plan clients are eligible to
receive a $300 rebate towards a home energy audit, as well as the chance to
win $25,000. They can also get online tips and information about
energy-efficient, eco-friendly home renovations and upgrades from

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between August 1 and August 7, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3853 adult Canadian homeowners. With a
representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to
within +/- 1.58 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have
been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. These data were
statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition
reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census

    For full tabular results, please see: the Ipsos Reid website at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Judi Levita, Media Relations,
(416) 974-8810

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