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As Canada braces for winter, majority of consumers concerned about managing heating bills – now is the time to prepare


TORONTO - A majority (60%) of Ontario homeowners are concerned about managing their bills this winter, according to a survey conducted for Direct Energy by Angus Reid. Now is the time for Ontario homeowners to start preparing for the winter by ensuring their heating equipment is in optimal health and implementing energy efficiency upgrades which will make a real difference in reducing their heating bills.

“Implementing three energy efficiency home upgrades can save homeowners as much as $980 off their heating bill this winter,” said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy. “Having your furnace maintained each year is the simplest and easiest way to ensure your furnace is in optimal health. To explore other ways to keep your heating bills down, a home energy audit is a great way to determine how energy efficient your home is and what steps to take to make improvements that make a real difference to your bill.”

Another incentive to make energy efficient home improvements is the impact on a home’s resale value. “There is a lot of research that’s been conducted in the Canadian market that shows that energy efficiency is on the minds of home buyers. Energy efficient home upgrades payback in money saved on utility bills and deliver higher resale value, making it the smartest way to build value in your home,” said Chris Chopik of and Bosley Real Estate.

When looking at an average Canadian home(1) a homeowner could potentially save as much as $980, or 25.9 per cent, on their annual heating bill by implementing three upgrades:

Upgrade to a high efficiency furnace:

* Replacing a conventional furnace(2), with a high efficiency furnace can result in savings of up to $565 per year, or 15 per cent on heating bills
* Consumers replacing their conventional furnace(2) for the first time could see an additional saving of $790 through the currently available provincial government rebate program(3)

Insulate - top and bottom:

* Topping up the insulation in an attic and insulating the basement can result in savings of up to $307 per year, or 8.13 per cent on heating bills(4)
* Provincial rebates(4). on attic and basement insulation can total as much as $1,250

Seal leaks:

* Sealing leaks with weather stripping and caulking can save up to $108 per year, or 2.9 per cent on heating bills
* Potential additional saving of up to $190 through provincial rebate program(4). for air sealing

Additional simple energy efficiency tips include:

* Clean or replace your furnace filter: by cleaning or replacing your filter every 2-3 months can protect against a 5-10% energy loss per year.

* Clean your ducts: cleaning your ducts will enable your home ventilation system to operate more efficiently, while also improving indoor air quality.

* Get a home energy audit: to identify areas where your home can be more energy efficient - like window and doors, or water consumption. You may also qualify for a provincial rebate if you implement the suggested changes.

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

About the Angus Reid Survey Data

Data was derived from online surveys conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on behalf of Direct Energy in September 2010. The survey was conducted among a randomly-selected, representative sample of 1009 adult Canadians aged 18 and over who are members of the Angus Reid Forum online panel. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

(1)Average Canadian home stats from the Canadian Real Estate Association, Stats Canada and Natural Resources Canada suggest the average home is: 1860 square feet, 40 years old and two stories. Savings calculated using HOT2000 software, Natural Resource Canada’s recognized standard tool for use by trained and certified energy auditors.

(2)A furnace manufactured to operate at 60% efficiency.

(3)Customer may need to qualify for grants by completing a Home Energy Audit. Amount varies based on the type of equipment purchased and the area in which you reside. Direct Energy Home Services is not involved in the administration of all these programs. Customer is responsible for applying for rebates/grants directly with the appropriate government agency as specified in the program.

(4)Savings calculated based on attic insulation rated as R50 or higher, and basement insulation rated R30 or R40.

(5)Direct Energy and the Lightning Bolt design are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Direct Energy Marketing Limited in the United States and/or Canada. Use of such trademarks has been licensed by Direct Energy Marketing Limited to its various subsidiaries and affiliates.


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