Albertans Are Stripping Down To Stay Cool

Direct Energy survey finds three-quarters of Albertans wear minimal clothing 
and one-third sleep naked when it's really hot outside 
CALGARY, Alberta, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a recent survey conducted 
for Direct Energy, Alberta homeowners will do just about anything to stay cool 
throughout the summer like sleep naked (36 per cent) or wear fewer clothes (75 
per cent). The majority (72 per cent) of Alberta homeowners do not have 
central air conditioning installed, instead they are looking for other ways to 
cool down, like sticking with the tried and true methods such as spending more 
time in the basement (49 per cent) and using ceiling fans (42 per cent). So 
with the warm weather approaching and temperatures rising, Direct Energy wants 
to help Albertans keep cool and save money this summer. 
"For folks who don't have central air installed, don't sweat it.  Something as 
little as closing curtains or blinds during the day is a great alternative and 
can help to keep temperatures at a comfortable level," said Dave Walton, 
Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "Additional methods like using a 
ceiling fan or barbequing more often and using the oven and stove less will 
really help to keep things cooler in the home during the warm weather season." 
Survey results also showed that Albertans who do use central air conditioning 
are making some common mistakes, and that simple fixes could save them money. 
One of the biggest is setting their thermostats too low during the summer 
months.  By bumping the temperature up from 23 to 25 degrees, homeowners can 
positively impact their electricity bills and save a few dollars. Any 
temperature setting lower than 24 degrees can increase energy use by as much 
as three to five per cent.  Having central air conditioner installed can 
account for up to 50 per cent of your summer electricity bill and the cost to 
run a central air conditioner unit for 24 hours could average eight to 12 
dollars a day. 
"Installing a programmable thermostat based on your living patterns will help 
control your energy usage," added Walton. "Even better, homeowners can take 
advantage of the new 'learning' thermostats.  These are great new tools that 
actually monitor your usage and adjust temperatures accordingly, and they are 
a good way to save yourself some money." 
With the summer quickly approaching, Alberta homeowners shouldn't have to 
worry about trying to avoid the heat and hiding away in the basement to stay 
cool.  There are plenty of old-school and new-school ways to keep the 
temperatures and energy bills comfortable.  Here are some more helpful tips 
that Alberta homeowners can consider when preparing for this summer season: 

    --  A ceiling fan is not just a decorative choice, in fact it
        really does make a difference in temperature and costs about
        one cent every two hours to operate, which is much less than an
        air conditioner. During the night when it's cooler turn off the
        air conditioner and use a ceiling fan to keep the house cool
    --  For Alberta homeowners who do have a central air conditioner
        installed, make sure to take preventative action by checking
        the central air unit annually. Only 15 per cent of Alberta
        homeowners have an annual maintenance check performed, and
        checking the air conditioner unit before each summer season is
        essential in making sure everything is working properly and
        there aren't any unexpected problems
    --  Consider keeping your windows open in the evening and overnight
        to allow cooler air into your home, or establish a cross-breeze
        throughout the home. The majority (78 per cent) of Alberta
        homeowners strategically open their windows to create a
        cross-breeze to help keep their home cool during the summer
    --  When it comes to keeping the curtains or blinds closed during
        the day throughout the summer months to help keep the home
        cool, 74 per cent of Alberta homeowners do so. This costs
        nothing and is easy to do, and with the blinds closed the sun
        won't be blasting throughout creating unnecessary heat
        throughout the home

About the Survey

From May 7th to May 8th 2013 an online survey was conducted among 589 randomly 
selected adult Alberta residents who are homeowners and Angus Reid Forum 
panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 
4.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted 
according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to 
ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Alberta. 
Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, 
plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related 
services provider with over eight million residential and commercial customer 
relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in 
managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and 
services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading 
integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the 
District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct 
Energy, please visit

For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview 
with Dave Walton, Jeff Lanthier, Direct Energy, +1-905-943-6260,; or Tania Divito, High Road Communications for 
Direct Energy, +1-416-644-2262,

SOURCE: Direct Energy

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CO: Direct Energy
ST: Alberta

-0- Jul/09/2013 15:00 GMT

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