June 27, 2005

PowerWISE partners report progress in offering energy conservation programs

Six of Ontario's largest local electricity distribution companies who are co-operatively delivering energy conservation

programs through the powerWISE(tm) initiative recently reported progress on activities during the initiative's 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. Over the next three years, powerWISE will deliver more than $70 million worth of comprehensive electricity conservation programs.

The six partners-Enersource Hydro Mississauga, Hamilton Utilities, Hydro Ottawa, PowerStream, Toronto Hydro-Electric and Veridian Connections-formally launched powerWISE on On April 1, 2005, although they have been introducing a number of programs to residential, industrial, commercial and institutional customers since last December. Some of these are:

-an 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;

-the Hot Water Heater Tune-Up Program for residential and business 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 compact fluorescenet light (CFL) bulbs, energy-efficient night lights and energy conservation tips);

-the powerWISE Tune-Up Program, under which customers receive an energy audit and the Power Pack is installed;

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

-smart metering and load control pilot programs; and

-a Home Depot promotion providing an incentive to purchase energy-efficient products. Further promotions planned under this program will provide 30 megawatts of peak demand reduction through 2007.

A number of educational initiatives are also underway in many communities. Among these efforts are: workshops for medium and large electricity users; presentations to city boards, industry groups, commissions and agencies; trade and industry shows; billing inserts; and TAPS, a program in co-operation with Enbridge to help customers find ways to save money and conserve energy.

The Web site, www.powerwise.ca, receives approximately 6,000 hits per day, with the most popular topic being information on home energy audits. In addition, many customers have been testing the electricity calculator. The powerWISE partners have pledged to continue introducing more new and innovative programs with the goal of reducing demand and creating a culture of conservation in Ontario.

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