Ontarians from every corner of the province will help celebrate the power of conservation during the first Ontario Energy Conservation Week, May 25-31, 2008. From Dryden to Niagara and from Windsor to Ottawa, communities, homeowners and businesses alike, are finding ways to become more energy efficient—saving money and helping the environment, at the same time.
By Rob Colman
“Energy Conservation Week demonstrates Ontario’s interest in—and passion for—energy conservation,” says Peter Love, Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer and instigator of the week-long grassroots celebration. “Everyone said to me that Earth Hour got them thinking. Energy Conservation Week is a strong next step on our quest to think about conservation, to believe we can make a difference and to take action.”
Breadth, diversity, imagination, enthusiasm and commitment characterize the range of province-wide activities marking the week’s activities that began on Sunday.
Every corner of the province — communities, businesses, homeowners, retailers, students, library patrons, hospital staff, employers and employees and “ordinary” Ontarians — will be touched in some way by the week-long focus on conserving energy. Cumulatively, the combination of awareness-generation and direct participation activities that are confirmed for May 25-31 will reach multiple millions in many cities, towns, organizations and institutions.
There are endless ways to take part…:
- Municipal resolutions—dozens of communities have declared Energy Conservation Week.
- Lower your lights by 25 per cent–-all Ontario HBC-owned chain stores including Home Outfitters, the Bay and Zellers will be doing exactly this during Energy Conservation Week.
- Participate in a Most Valuable Power$aver contest if you are one of Hydro One’s 3.1 million customers. Visit www.HydroOne.com/ECWeek for more information.
- Notice conservation measures taken at BOMA Toronto-member office towers.
- Visit malls like Hillcrest Shopping Centre in Richmond Hill and Masonville Place in London, which have committed to reduced lighting and increasing the thermostat to save energy.
- Notice the lights go out on the Fairmont Royal York rooftop sign.
- Get rid of an old, inefficient room air conditioner or dehumidifier to the Clean Air Foundation as part of their Keep Cool program that helps to ease the burden on the energy grid by retiring old inefficient room air conditioners.
- Doff your tie or don cool summer skirts on Tieless Tuesday, May 28th.
- Visit www.energyconservationweek.ca to learn about what is happening in your community and find out how you can “Take Action.”
- Recommend someone or some organization to receive a Certificate of Recognition from Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer…see www.conservationbureau.com for nomination rules and forms.
- See the Cord-O-Clip display featuring an innovative clothesline at St. Thomas General Hospital.
- Pick up a free Union Gas energy savings kit at a participating Home Depot on Sunday, May 25. The kit contains: one energy efficient chrome showerhead, one energy efficient swivel kitchen aerator, one energy efficient bathroom aerator, two metres of foam pipe insulation for the hot water pipes connecting to your water heater and one $15 programmable thermostat rebate
- Get a free conservation kit in St. Thomas that includes including items such as fluorescent lights, water flow measurement bag, toilet leak dye tablets, clothesline, pencils, colouring books, etc.
- Buy an enviro kit at the University of Guelph.
- Attend a sustainability conference sponsored by Hamilton Health Sciences; St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; and St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton. For information visit www.buildingcommonground.ca.
- Attend the “Reach the Peak” barbecue hosted by Bluewater Power in Sarnia.
- Attend the Haldimand County Hydro Inc. 2008 Conservation Program Launch at River Heights Elementary School on May 26. Haldimand County Hydro will be introducing and demonstrating their NEW interactive on-line game aimed at Grade 5 students…To celebrate Energy Conservation Week, students and adults will go head to head in a couple rounds of “Are you as Energy Smart as a Haldimand County 5th Grader?” The event starts at 1:30p.m. in the gymnasium.
- Visit the Children’s Museum in Waterloo to learn about energy conservation and sustainable energy.
- Take part in Energy Conservation Day at Timken Centre in St. Thomas on Saturday May 31.
- Learn about energy efficient products at participating Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores in Windsor.
“All the partners in for the first Energy Conservation Week — The Ministry of Energy, the Electricity Distributors Association, the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator — have three goals,” says Paul Shervill, the Ontario Power Authority’s Vice President Conservation and sector Development. “We intend to better prepare Ontarians to meet the summer peak demand period in 2008, to motivate everyone to get on track for our extremely aggressive energy saving targets, and to build towards the ‘culture of conservation’ that we must achieve.”
“Energy Conservation Week will be a great opportunity for people and businesses across Ontario to learn and share ideas on how to save energy and save money in the process. I would encourage everyone to take part in a local event or even start their own conservation initiative at home or at work,” said Ontario Energy Minister Gerry Phillips.
“Everyone benefits when consumers become more active in managing their energy use. Demand response not only empowers consumers, it strengthens the power system by giving the IESO, as the system operator, more flexibility in maintaining reliability,” said Ken Kozlik, Chief Operating Officer of the Independent Electricity System Operator. “Energy Conservation Week highlights the increasing role consumers can play to contribute to a more sustainable, reliable and efficient power system.”
“Energy Conservation Week (ECW) is about the power of collective action and how even the smallest changes can make a difference,” said Bryan Boyce, Chair, Electricity Distributors Association. “Ontario’s electricity distributors understand the power of collective action. Over the past three years, electricity distributors have developed and delivered over 500 conservation and demand management programs and activities to their customers in communities across the province. ECW is another positive step towards getting Ontarians to recognize how their actions can make a difference and electricity distributors are proud to be taking part and promoting this important province-wide initiative.”
For more information visit www.energyconservationweek.ca.