June 6, 2005

TORONTO, May 25 /CNW/

Six of Ontario's largest local electricity distribution companies who are cooperatively delivering energy conservation programs under the powerWISE(TM) name are pleased to provide an update on activities in their first quarter. Through an initial combined investment of $3.3 million, they are promoting energy conservation and reduced demand for electricity in their respective service areas. powerWISE will deliver over $70 million in comprehensive electricity conservation programs over a three-year period.

On April 1, 2005, Enersource Hydro Mississauga, Hamilton Utilities Corporation, Hydro Ottawa Limited, PowerStream Inc., Toronto Hydro-Electric Limited and Veridian Connections announced they would work co-operatively under the name "powerWISE". Since then, powerWISE members have already implemented a number of programs that will deliver megawatt savings to ease the load on Ontario's electricity system.

"We're delighted to see so much progress, so quickly, and that customers will also see savings on their bills," says Michael Angemeer, President & CEO, Veridian Corporation. "Collectively, the powerWISE members have asked over

1.6 million customers to review their energy use and consider ways to conserve and save money. Their response has been overwhelming."

Dwight Duncan, Ontario's Minster of Energy also is encouraged by the response. "I'm impressed by the progress made by the powerWISE members to implement new and innovative programs to help Ontario consumers save energy and save money, and to help build a true culture of conservation across our province" said Minister Duncan.

The website, www.powerwise.ca receives approximately 6,000 hits per day. The most popular topic on the website is information on home energy audits. In addition, many customers have been testing the electricity calculator.

Since December, a number of programs have been introduced to customers:

- Agreement with the Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and the Markham Energy Conservation Office (ECO) to deliver energy efficiency programs targeting the education sector, hospitals and municipalities;

- Hot Water Heater Tune-Up Program - for customers with electric hot water;

- Social Housing Services Corporation (SHSC) funding for energy audits on low-income properties;

- LED lighting promotions, exchanges and giveaways;

- powerWISE Power Packs to help get customers started with conservation (contents include CFL bulbs, energy efficient night-light and energy conservation tips);

- powerWISE Tune-Up Program where customers get an energy audit and the Power Pack is installed;

- Coordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources to support Energy Star for New Homes, a new energy efficient standard for new home developers;

- Smart meter and load control pilot programs; and

- Home Depot promotion that gives incentive to purchase energy efficient products. The program includes other promotions that will provide 30 megawatts of peak demand reduction through 2007.

A number of educational initiatives are also underway in many communities. These efforts include:

- Workshops for medium and large electricity users;

- Conservation campaigns in libraries, malls, fairs, and other community events/venues;

- Billing inserts;

- Switch to Cold Campaign;

- Local advertising;

- Presentations to city boards, industry groups, commissions and agencies;

- TAPS - a program in cooperation with ENBRIDGE to help customers identify ways to save money and conserve energy; and

- Trade and industry shows.

powerWISE members Enersource Hydro Mississauga, Hamilton Utilities Corporation, Hydro Ottawa Limited, PowerStream Inc., Toronto Hydro-Electric Limited and Veridian Connections will continue to deliver more new and innovative programs, and are fully committed to the goal of reducing demand and creating a culture of conservation in Ontario.

Visit www.powerwise.ca to learn how to conserve energy and save money.

BACKGROUNDER-MAY 2005

powerWISE(TM) Program Overview and Descriptions

First Quarter, 2005

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and Markham Energy Conservation Office (ECO) PowerStream announced partnership arrangements with TRCA and ECO to deliver energy efficient programs. These programs will target the education sector, health care facilities and hospitals, and municipalities.

Hot Water Tune-Up Program

Several of the powerWISE members are offering a water heater tune-up program to residents and businesses with electric water heating. In addition to installation of water heater insulation blankets for these customers, during the tune up visits the utilities also provide an energy efficiency kit with products like water pipe insulation, a water-saving showerhead and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Social and Low-Income Housing

Enersource, Hamilton Hydro, Hydro Ottawa and PowerStream are involved in the pilot program with Social Housing Services Corporation (SHSC). The program will help landlords identify energy-saving opportunities. It will also provide funding for eligible energy management solutions.

Hamilton Hydro is currently involved in a program with Green Venture to educate high-rise, multi-lingual residents on ways to conserve energy and water.

powerWISE Website

A comprehensive website was launched to provide electricity consumers with valuable energy conservation advice. The site, accessible at www.powerwise.ca, has been attracting an average of 6,000 hits per day.

LED Lighting

Enersource and Toronto Hydro both held XMAS lighting exchanges in their communities. Customers were invited to attend holiday lighting displays and receive a new set of LED lights in exchange for old, inefficient XMAS lights.

powerWISE Power Packs and powerWISE Tune-Up

To educate customers on how to be energy conscious, Hydro Ottawa introduced the Power Packs. The packs include two CFL bulbs, an energy-efficient night light and energy conservation tips.

The Tune-Up is a home electricity audit program. An electricity conservation advisor visits the customer's home, conducts a walk-through electricity audit and installs the Power Pack.

Hamilton Hydro offers a similar program. Their home audit program offers CFL bulbs, installation and advice on how to save electricity and money.

Energy Star for New Homes

Energy Star is a program that the Ministry of Natural Resources supports. It sets higher energy efficiency standards for new homes. This program will be made available to Hydro Ottawa developers and contractors.

Smart Meter, Combined Utility Metering and Load Control Pilot Programs

Toronto Hydro is involved in three pilot programs to test smart metering technologies. Approximately 1000 customers are involved, the pilots will help to choose the best technology.

Hamilton Hydro plans to launch its smart meter pilot with 100 homes in the next few months.

PowerStream, through its partnership arrangement with Markham ECO, will be working with Enbridge Gas Distribution, York Water System and Markham District Energy on a pilot program that integrates district heating/cooling, electricity, gas and water metering. These meters will provide participating customers with real time information (rather than hourly measurements) on their consumption with each of the four utilities.

In addition to Toronto Hydro's smart metering projects, Toronto Hydro and Hydro One are conducting load management pilot programs. With the customer's permission, non-essential appliances will be powered down for short periods during peak times.

Retail Partnerships

Toronto Hydro partnered with The Home Depot to promote the sale of energy-efficient products. The alliance will encourage customers, both in the residential and industrial sectors. The first program, a 2-for-1 CFL Bulb coupon, was introduced in April. In June, a room air conditioner program aims to encourage the disposal of old, inefficient air conditioners. Customers will receive a $25 gift card to use at any Home Depot on any product of their choice.

Advertising

Hamilton Utilities, PowerStream and Toronto Hydro launched advertising campaigns to promote powerWISE and energy conservation. Mediums include print and public transportation vehicles.

Switch to Cold

Enersource, Hamilton Utilities and Toronto Hydro are promoting the Switch to Cold campaign. Switch to Cold encourages people to wash in cold water to save energy, money and the environment.

Workshops, Forums and Sessions

- Information booths and displays are being showcased in malls, libraries, home and trade shows, and community events. Presentations to industry associations and municipalities are ongoing.

- Enersource Hydro launched an ongoing series of forums with speakers from Natural Resources Canada, Trico Lighting and Enbridge. These forums offer info on energy efficient design options, energy retrofit grants and other resources.

- Hydro Ottawa met with suppliers and customers to discuss new program ideas and development. Proposals are now being evaluated.

- PowerStream hosted and conducted a seminar and workshop for its large and medium customers. Members from the Ministry of Energy and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance spoke on strategies for conservation.

- Toronto Hydro participated in the Smart Living Workshops in communities across the city. The session helps homeowners identify ways to conserve energy and make their homes more energy-efficient.

- Veridian conducted a light bulb exchange as part of an 'Energy Conservation Forum' held at the Pickering Town Centre. Five hundred energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs were distributed through this initiative.

Visit www.powerwise.ca to learn how to conserve energy and save money.

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