NEARLY ALL ONTARIANS SAY HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS IMPORTANT, BUT THE MAJORITY NEED TO TAKE STEPS TO PREPARE FOR THE WINTER CHILL

Toronto, ON  (10/9/2012) - Ninety-seven per cent of Ontarians claim that home energy efficiency is a top priority for them, according to a recent survey conducted for Direct Energy. As temperatures begin to fall across the province, Direct Energy wants to ensure that homeowners are prepared with the right information to get their home in top shape for the winter season.

"Energy efficiency upgrades and improvements do not have to be daunting tasks. In fact, homeowners can take control of their energy bills and potentially save money by following simple steps and making small changes around the home", said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "Sealing up air leaks around windows and baseboards, and regularly maintaining your furnace and replacing filters are easy - and low cost - ways to save on monthly heating bills."

While the majority of homeowners say that an energy efficient home is important to them, the survey also showed that a significant percentage of Ontarians are not taking the right steps to achieve that goal. For example, sixty-nine per cent of Ontario homeowners do not lower the temperature when the house is empty, and only 4 in 10 lower the temperature overnight. Simply knocking down the temperature by two degrees when no one is home or when you are sleeping can make a significant impact on annual energy costs.

"Programmable thermostats are a great way to control the temperature inside the home and they aren't expensive to buy and install," added Walton. "Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it based on your living patterns to reduce your energy usage is one of the easiest ways to regulate your heat and ensure energy efficiency."

Additional findings from the Direct Energy survey reveal that twenty-eight per cent of Ontarians do not have a high efficiency furnace installed in their home, which is one of the most significant ways to maintain energy efficiency around the home. The survey also showed that when it comes to regular home maintenance, only thirty-three per cent of homeowners have their air ducts cleaned, and less than that (9%) have energy audits completed on their homes.

What's more interesting is that the survey also found a pattern among younger homeowners. Overall, results revealed that they are less likely to include energy efficient steps in their home maintenance:
  • Only twenty-three per cent of homeowners between the ages of 18-34 lower their temperature overnight.
  • Only approximately half (56%) ensure windows and doors are properly sealed.
  • When it comes to furnace maintenance, eight per cent of younger homeowners admitted to never having changed their furnace filters.

"It's important for new or first-time homeowners to be educated about keeping their home energy efficient, as this may be the first time they are responsible for a home's upkeep," stresses Walton. "Many new homeowners may not even be aware of the potential savings on their energy bills by following simple home maintenance steps."

For Direct Energy hot water heater customers and protection plan subscribers, the recently launched Same Day Service program will provide peace of mind during the cold winter months. If Direct Energy receives a call from a customer who doesn't have heat or hot water as late as 5pm, Direct Energy promises to do everything they can to have a reliable and trained technician be there the very same day. For more information, please visit DirectEnergy.com/SameDay.

For more information on:
Energy efficiency tips and hints to reduce your energy usage and your energy bill:
http://residential.directenergy.com/EN/energy-efficiency/Ontario/Pages/Energy-Efficiency-Tips-and-Hints-Fall.aspx

Direct Energy Home Service s Protection Plans:
http://residential.directenergy.com/EN/Home-Services/ontario/Pages/Protection-Plans/protection-plans.aspx

Direct Energy old furnace buy-back offer:
http://residential.directenergy.com/EN/Home-Services/ontario/Pages/Furnace-Heating/furnace-replace.aspx


About the Survey
From September 12th to September 14th 2012 an online survey was conducted among 800 randomly selected adult Ontario residents who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample 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


For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview with Dave Walton please contact:

Jeff Lanthier
Direct Energy
Jeff.Lanthier@directenergy.com
905-943-6260

Direct Energy® is a subsidiary of Centrica plc. All rights reserved. Centrica was created following the demerger of British Gas plc in 1997 and is now a leading supplier of energy and related services. To read more about Centrica plc please visit www.centrica.com.