Thursday, August 11, 2005

Retailers urged to save power by closing doors

Voluntary - my ass! Let's make a bylaw get some inspectors out there and give them tickets - if they can afford to air condition the outdoors then they can afford to pay 1000$ an infraction and make the city some money.
Aug. 9, 2005. 07:42 PM
A voluntary campaign to convince air-conditioned stores to stop propping open their doors got underway today as Ontario officials pleaded with consumers for the fourth time this summer to curb their appetite for power.
As temperatures in the low 30 C range and severe humidity continued to gang up on Ontario residents, the province's power grid was being taxed to the limit once again as consumers cranked up their air conditioners to battle the sweltering heat.
The Independent Electricity System Operator, the agency that monitors the power system, said today's situation was exacerbated by the fact three generating units were out of service, unable to generate their usual 2,500 megawatts of power.
Peak demand was expected to reach nearly 26,000 megawatts, not far from the record mark reached earlier this summer, said spokesman Terry Young.
"It's a very tight situation," Young said. Generating capacity and the province's ability to import power were near their peak levels, he added.
The province's residents and businesses have been asked to cut back on their consumption for a total of 12 days so far this summer.
The new conservation campaign is intended to tackle businesses that waste energy.
The Conservation Council of Ontario estimates that 200 megawatts of energy are lost when just 10 per cent of the province's 100,000 stores keep their doors open with the air conditioning on — "a blatant waste of electricity," said executive director Chris Winter.
"It's a very simple act, but this act alone can save up to 200 megawatts of electricity," Winter said. "It could be the difference between brownouts or not."
Twice last week, brutal heat and humidity forced the IESO to impose brownouts, in which voltage is reduced by five per cent — a tactic that allows power authorities to ease consumption without dramatically impacting supply.
Though brownouts are designed not to impact consumers, problems were reported with traffic lights and hospital air conditioning systems in some parts of the province. Hospitals and other facilities needing full power are able to apply for local exemptions.
With an overall system capacity of about 26,000 megawatts, 200 megawatts makes a significant difference, said Peter Love, Ontario's chief energy conservation officer, who's been on the job since mid-May.
"This is the type of campaign that's really needed right now," said Love, who said he's been getting lots of complaints about stores keeping their doors open from citizens who are doing their best to conserve at home.
Participating businesses would get a poster to put on their door to invite customers in and let them know the door is being kept closed to save power. The campaign also pushes shoppers to patronize stores heeding the call to conserve.
The manager of a furniture store just steps away from the Chinatown location where the news conference was held, however, didn't appear convinced today that closing his doors to customers would be a good idea.
"If I close the door, people won't come into my store," Bing Wong said. "I would definitely lose business."
The majority of stores in the area, which was bustling today with shoppers, had their doors wide open in hopes of luring in passersby with the promise of cool air and low prices.
Winter acknowledged that it won't be easy for some stores to change their practices due to habit or belief that their business will suffer. Putting in regulations to force businesses to change their ways isn't the best approach, he added.
"We want to start with as much as we can through voluntary measures," Winter said. "It's always better to have people do it because it's part of our culture, part of our values."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Myth busting: The truth about energy efficiency at home

October 20, 2007

Ontarians have become increasingly savvy about their energy consumption patterns at home and have been taking steps to become more energy efficient. But with all the conservation information available these days, it is difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Peter Love, Ontario's Chief Electricity Conservation Officer, reveals the truth behind some of the most common energy myths.

Armed with this knowledge, look for ways you can make the lighting in your home energy efficient. Love points to the Ontario Power Authority's fall Every Kilowatt Counts program.

Consumers can redeem coupons in-store at a wide variety of retailers across Ontario for savings on ENERGY STAR-qualified residential light fixtures, and appliance and light control products such as motion sensors, dimmers and timers.

To help demystify some of the most common energy myths Love helps shed some light on the facts about energy efficiency at home:

Myth: I can't use CFL bulbs with dimmer switches or motion sensors

Fact: The selection of CFL bulbs are increasing. There are special CFL bulbs that are designed to work with a variety of lighting controls such as dimmer switches, motion sensors and timers, and some can even be used outdoors. CFL packaging tells you where and how the CFL can be used.

Myth: By dimming the lights, all dimmer switches allow you to reduce the amount of electricity and energy being used

Fact: Only new electronic dimmer switches actually reduce the amount of energy being used. Old rheostatic dimmer switches simply give the extra electricity off as heat, instead of light. If the dimmer is warm to the touch, it's not saving electricity.

Myth: All fluorescent tube lights are energy efficient

Fact: Smaller (2.5 cm or 1 inch diameter) T8 bulbs are 35 per cent more efficient than regular T12 (3.75 cm or 1.5 inch diameter) fluorescent tube lights.

For a list of participating retailers, more energy saving tips and to download Every Kilowatt Counts coupons, visit