February 13, 2006

WWF-Canada urges new NRCan Minister to upgrade energy efficiency standards

TORONTO, ONT-World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) is calling on new Natural Resources Canada Minister Gary Lunn to use the national Energy Efficiency Act to upgrade and expand minimum energy performance standards for both domestic and commercial equipment. Domestic appliances, consumer electronics, lighting, electric motors, heating/cooling systems and other appliances and equipment together account for nearly one-quarter of Canada's energy use, says WWF-Canada, whose research indicates that energy-efficient models are available for all of these items but do not dominate market share. The organization says improving energy efficiency standards to make energy efficiency markers such as Energy Star(r) the baseline would not only drive innovation and market uptake, it would: cut at least 25 megatonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions associated with coal-fired electricity and natural gas (almost 10% of Canada's Kyoto target); reduce energy costs, helping to counter rising fossil fuel and electricity prices; and decrease demand for energy supply, eliminating the need to build expensive and ecologically questionable power plants, pipelines and transmission lines. As an example, WWF-Canada says California considers energy conservation to be the lowest-cost way to meet its power needs, having calculated that the cost of saving a kilowatt of electricity is half the cost of building a new power plant to generate a kilowatt.

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