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Doors Closed Ontario!

Friday, July 14th 2006 2:27:27pm

Media Release – for immediate release

Doors Closed Ontario!

Retail stores asked to close doors to mark anniversary
of record electricity consumption

(Toronto, July 13, 2006) Today marks the one year anniversary of the provincial summer peak record for electricity consumption (26,160 MW), and the Conservation Council of Ontario (CCO) is asking Ontario consumers to support stores and business that conserve energy.

Doors Closed identifies stores that made a voluntary commitment to keep their doors closed to reduce the electricity consumed by air conditioning. Consumers are encouraged to support stores displaying the Doors Closed signage that reads, “Please Come In. Our door is closed to save energy.” Interested store owners can visit www.weconserve.ca/doorsclosed for more information.

Chris Winter, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario, joined Peter Love, Chief Energy Conservation Officer of the Conservation Bureau; Briar de Lange, General Manager of the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area; Ken Kim, General Manager of the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association and the Clean Air Foundation’s Cool Shops team, to formally kick off the campaign in Yorkville -- the heart of Toronto’s downtown shopping community.

“In 2005, the CCO developed the Doors Closed campaign in response to record energy use and consumer complaints about store owners air conditioning sidewalk areas,” said CCO’s Chris Winter. “The Doors Closed signage was developed so consumers could identify stores that are careful about electricity usage – in essence a pro-cott not a boycott of the poor performers.”

The Yorkville Business Improvement Association circulated a notice to the over 700 member stores requesting they participate in the program. Briar de Lang, stated, “We’re aware that many businesses leave their doors open as a signal to consumers that they are open for business. But by adopting the Doors Closed poster, it allows them to show that they’re both open and energy conscious. Who wouldn’t want to support a business that is socially and environmentally responsible?” Ontario’s Korean Businessmen's Association, which represents 3,500 members, fully endorses this campaign as well.

The Province’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Peter Love stated, “We’re proud to be funding the Doors Closed campaign because it recognizes good environmental stewardship, and is a valuable model for others to follow,” Love explained. “Nearly 40% of the province’s summer peak electricity demand is being used to run air conditioning.  The Doors Closed campaign represents an easy and inexpensive way to conserve and keep Ontario competitive.”
“Doors Closed is about shifting attitudes and making positive changes,” stated Winter. “With commitments from retail chains such as HMV and Roots, as well as Municipalities and Chambers of Commerce in Guelph, Markham, London, Oakville, Caledon, Timmins, and volunteers in many more communities, we expect this campaign will move attitudes in favour of energy conservation. Just as the Blue Box changed people’s attitudes toward recycling this makes both good environmental and economic sense.”

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For more information, please contact:

• Chris Winter, Executive Director, Conservation Council of Ontario, 416.533.1635 X 1 (cell 647.393.5000)  cco@web.net  or www.weconserve.ca/doorsclosed

• Don Huff, Environmental Communication Options 416.972.7401  (cell 416.805.7720)

• Barton Sala, Conservation Bureau - Ontario Power Authority, 416.969.6009