Ontarians redeem over 2M save-energy coupons in 2015

TORONTO - - More than 2 million Ontarians took advantage of energy-saving coupons this year according to the Independent Electricity System Operator, the provincial agency responsible for regulating electricity and for funding the saveONenergy program.

The coupons, which were available online and at participating hardware stores, projected that consumers could save up to $30 on high-efficiency gadgets like LED light bulbs, power cords and programmable thermostats.

"They're very popular," said Brad Swanson, owner of a Kitchener Home Hardware store. "The most popular ones now-a-days are for the LED light bulbs."

"We sell tens-of-thousands of them," he said. Not only do the coupons save consumers money, but according to Swanson they also drive sales numbers at the beginning and end of the coupon's validity. "You sell a lot when it first comes out and then you sell a lot just as it's about to expire," he said.

Consumers redeemed 2,579,937 coupons in the first three quarters of 2015 according to IESO numbers. The agency has yet to release statistics for the forth quarter of the year.

Although the agency does not promise to hand out coupons every year, spokeswoman Alexandra Campbell said a new batch of vouchers will be released in 2016.

"We're basically continuing with almost all of the coupons that we had in 2015," she said, but "the amount that you get for the LED lights is a little bit lower, but that's largely because the cost of LED lights is coming down anyway."

Campbell said that coupons or no coupons, the agency has plans to reveal plenty of other energy-saving initiatives continuing until 2020.


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