Meat Locker Syndrome – summer thermostat battle begins

TORONTO, ONTARIO - For the fifth year, Toronto Hydro-Electric System went to the polls to probe Torontonians on electricity use. The annual Peak Out Poll continues to shed light on what's irking customers or what they think about conservation.

In the midst of the first Toronto heatwave, men and women will begin to nit-pick on the temperature at home and at work. In fact, 25 per cent of Torontonians feel that the office is too cold, and will still go to lengths to dress differently for inside temperatures.

The statistics haven't changed despite the ongoing awareness of the importance of conservation – last year 28 per cent found the temperature too chilly.

"More than 50 per cent of an electricity bill is attributed to heating and cooling. Conservation is simple and it saves money. By just increasing the temperature by one degree, customers use three to five per cent less energy," says David O'Brien, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro Corporation.

The sweater remains the most popular item at 26 per cent, followed by pants (23 per cent), socks and shoes (21 per cent), a jacket (13 per cent) and a shawl or sweatshirt (about 10 per cent each.) Even more alarming is the other coping mechanisms offsetting conservation efforts: two-in-ten Torontonians use a space heater, tape up vents or do other things to block a blast of cold air.

Counter-intuitively, 45 per cent have worn a jacket inside and then taken it off outside; and another 44 per cent have had colleagues do the same. And this year, there is no change in the gender preference: women are more likely to think that it's too cold, versus men who find the temperature is either too hot or just right during the summer months.


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