Earth Hour-BMO Survey Shows 51% of Canadians Surprised by Costs of Utilities
Turn the lights down low - Earth Hour takes place on March 23rd
between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time
- BMO provides tips for homeowners on how to reduce their
environmental footprint and overall utility bills
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/20/13 -- With Earth Hour
coming up this weekend, BMO Bank of Montreal reminds Canadians to
review their household energy usage as a way to reduce their
environmental footprint and help manage their household utility
According to a BMO survey, the majority of homeowners (51 per cent)
cite utility costs as the biggest financial surprise after they move
Earth Hour is a great opportunity to take a moment to review your
energy consumption. The rule of thumb is that total housing expenses
should not consume more than one-third of total household income.
BMO is a National Sponsor of Earth Hour, which is a worldwide event
organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that encourages Canadian
households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for
one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate
change. This year's event takes place on Saturday, March 23rd between
8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time.
"WWF is grateful to BMO for their support as National Sponsor of
Earth Hour. Businesses have a critical role to play in addressing
climate change, and BMO has taken a lead role in reducing greenhouse
gas emissions, including becoming carbon neutral in 2010. Through
Earth Hour, WWF and BMO are encouraging all Canadians to reflect on
how we can reduce our environmental footprint, all year round," says
Josh Laughren, Director of WWF's Climate and Energy Program.
BMO offers the following top 5 energy-saving tips to help reduce your
environmental footprint and lessen total household expenses:
1. Programmable thermostat: One of the most effective ways to keep heating
costs down is to limit the time the furnace is running. Program your
thermostat to turn on only during times when you will be home.
2. Windows: To prevent cold air from sneaking into your home, make sure to
winterize all windows - especially if you live in an older house. Also,
take advantage of the sun
shine and keep curtains and drapes open during
daylight hours to allow Mother Nature to warm up your home.
3. Insulation: In addition to insulating windows, properly insulating your
entire house (including the attic) and sealing any leaks can keep warm
air in and cold air out. This will reduce the amount of work your
furnace has to do and can cut utility costs and emissions by almost 10
4. Internal Heat: Utilize heat generators within your house to keep the
temperature up and thermostat down while you're home. Appliances, such
as the dishwasher, laundry machine/dryer and the stove/oven all provide
a generous amount of warmth when in use, so dial down the thermostat
while these large appliances are on.
5. Service your furnace: Be sure to service your furnace and the ducts
every spring to ensure that it is working efficiently. Old furnaces - or
those that work poorly - have to work harder, increasing utility costs.
To learn more about how to better manage overall household expenses,
spending and savings, please visit www.bmo.com/smartsteps.
BMO and the Environment
BMO achieved enterprise-wide carbon neutrality relative to its energy
consumption and transportation emissions in August 2010. This goal
was achieved by reducing and limiting emissions from transportation
and energy use, purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources
and buying carbon credits to offset the remaining emissions. BMO has
also set an emissions reduction target; the bank plans to reduce
absolute enterprise carbon emissions by 10 per cent - versus 2011
baseline levels - by the end of 2016.
BMO is one of the initial investors in the Greening Canada Fund
(GCF), the first-ever voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund aimed
exclusively at large Canadian corporations. The fund provides direct
access to high-quality carbon offset credits and helps BMO support
Canadian-based energy efficiency projects in Canadian public schools,
hospitals and community housing. BMO's initial investment commitment
in the fund was $10 million.
BMO is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index,
the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Series Index. BMO has also
been included on the Maclean's/Jantzi-Sustainalytics list of the Top
50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada and Corporate Knights
Magazine's Best 50 Corporate Citizens. For three years in a in a row,
BMO Financial Group has been named to the Global 500 Carbon
Performance Leadership Index by the Carbon Disclosure Project.
To review BMO's environmental performance data, visit
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more
than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
Russell Baker, Toronto
Jessica Park, Toronto
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
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