June 26, 2006

Companies, utilities recognized as leaders in Energy Star market transformation

This year's Energy Star(R) Market Transformation Awards were recently presented by the federal government to businesses and utilities that have demonstrated innovation and leadership in promoting energy efficiency throughout Canada. Winners were named in the categories of Manufacturers of the Year; Retailer of the Year; Utility of the Year; Promotional Campaign of the Year; Participant of the Year; Advocate of the Year; Recruit of the Year; and Collaborative Initiative of the Year. A Sustained Excellence Award was also presented to BC Hydro for the provincial electric utility's sustained work and support of Energy Star since 2001.

Manufacturers of the Year were named for specific products and multiple products: in the former category, Vinyl Windows Designs, based in Woodbridge, Ont, received the award for its significant efforts in promoting dealers' participation in the Energy Star initiative and the implementation of a successful training program on the benefits of Energy Star-qualified windows.

Whirlpool Canada was the multiple product winner in recognition of the major appliance company's sustained support of Energy Star and for continuing to innovate in the marketplace. Whirlpool Canada was the first participant in the program when it was launched in 2001 and has expanded the availability of Energy Star-qualified products in other brand lines. The company is also being recognized for its promotional efforts in print and television media and at store level.

The Home Depot (Canada) was named Retailer of the Year for the company's continued support and promotion of Energy Star in the retail sector. Its corporate commitment has been demonstrated through increased shelf space dedicated to Energy Star-qualified products, together with a complete phase-out of product categories that do not meet Energy Star specifications. Home Depot has invested heavily in in-store promotions and external advertising featuring Energy Star, and has participated in a number of stakeholder initiatives across Canada.

The Energy Star Utility of the Year award was presented for the promotion of one Energy Star-qualified product and for multiple products. Barrie Hydro Distribution was the winner for the small Ontario electric utility's successful Energy Star-qualified products rebate program and promotional campaign for all Energy Star-qualified products. For the promotion of multiple Energy Star-qualified products, Manitoba Hydro was recognized for its highly successful rebate/promotional programs promoting Energy Star-qualified windows and furnaces.

Two organizations tied as winners of the Energy Star Promotional Campaign of the Year award. They were Jeld-Wen Windows and Teresen Gas. The window and door manufacturer won for its three-dimensional display comparing standard glass with glass used in Energy Star-qualified windows, designed to help customers "feel" the difference Energy Star makes. Terasen Gas's four creative promotional campaigns targeted the new construction and renovation markets on Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, promoting the benefits, purchase and installation of high-efficiency gas-fired heating systems.

The Energy Star Participant of the Year for 2006 is GIT Portes et FenÍtres. The Quebec-based window company was recognized for transforming the window market by developing the first Energy Star-qualified aluminum window.

Two organizations received awards as Energy Star Advocate of the Year. For one Energy Star-qualified product, Thermoplast was the winner for its partnership program aimed at helping window manufacturers obtain Energy Star certification. Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) was recognized for including Energy Star certification in the specifications for procurement under its appliance replacement and energy retrofit program. The initiative resulted in the installation of 20,000 refrigerators and more than 150 front-loading washers, all Energy Star-qualified, in TCHC social housing units between 2002 and 2005.

The Energy Star Recruit of the Year was Project Porchlight's One Change Campaign. The non-profit organization's successful campaign promoted the installation of Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs as porch lighting in an Ottawa neighbourhood. The campaign made extensive use of volunteers who went door-to-door to spread the word on the benefits of this light source.

The award for Collaborative Initiative of the Year went to the Clean Air Foundation for its "Cool Shops and Energy Smarts" campaign. Cool Shops team members perform energy audits of small storefront stores. This program received extensive media and surpassed its goals. Energy Smarts, carried out in partnership with Home Depot, works to educate consumers on the benefits of energy efficiency and energy conservation. It includes the development of activities such as rebates and contests featuring Energy Star-qualified products.

Finally, BC Hydro received the Sustained Excellence Award for its continuing support of Energy Star. Since 2001, the provincial electric utility has implemented many successful Energy Star-related initiatives and promotions as part of its Power Smart program. It has been a leader in various sectors such as energy-efficient lighting, influencing British Columbians to trade in their inefficient light bulbs, Christmas lights and torchiËres for more energy-efficient models. BC Hydro is working with Natural Resources Canada to finalize technical specifications for Christmas lights and continues to test compact fluorescent lamps sold in Canada.

The utility has also led the way in promoting high-efficiency variable-speed motors in gas furnaces. It is currently undertaking a program to promote Energy Star-qualified windows and is working with the province to help the BC government implement its own energy efficiency strategy.

The Energy Star symbol is applied to qualifying products for both the commercial and residential sectors, including electronic goods, appliances, office equipment, heating and cooling equipment, and other products that are the most energy-efficient, such as compact fluorescent lights, windows and sliding glass doors and vending machines. Energy Star-qualified products are typically 20 to 40% more efficient than conventional models. In Canada, the Energy Star program is administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency. More information on Energy Star and the list of products that qualify is available on-line www.energystar.gc.ca.

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