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Press Release

Poll: One in three homeowners have considered solar panels; but costs remain a concern

Canada NewsWire

TD Canada Trust helps homeowners understand the financial and environmental benefits of using green energy

TORONTO, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Nine in ten (91%) Canadian homeowners are aware that using green energy reduces a household's environmental impact, yet only five per cent are generating electricity by installing rooftop solar panels, according to a new survey from TD Canada Trust.

The survey reveals one in three homeowners (33%) have considered installing solar panels, however three-quarters (76%) of them say expense is the number one deterrent.

"The gap between awareness and action is mainly due to concerns about cost," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD. "But Canadians have shown that those concerns can be overcome. A decade ago, hybrid vehicles were a novelty, but today there are a growing number on our roads. We believe the future for rooftop solar panels is just as bright."

Benefits and how-to's of choosing solar energy

Currently only about half (47%) of Canadian homeowners surveyed are aware that solar power reduces home energy costs and less than five per cent know that in some provinces, solar panels can provide a new revenue stream. So there's still a lot of education to be done around the benefits to homeowners who choose to use solar energy, which include:

    <<
    -  Save money. Installing solar panels means reducing the amount of
       energy required from the electrical grid, which means buying less. In
       some provinces solar-produced power can be sold to local utility
       providers, earning money for the energy produced.
    -  Increase home value. A home that costs less to run may be worth more.
    -  Low maintenance. Solar panels require little maintenance and typically
       last more than 25 years.
    -  Reduce impact on the environment. Solar power is a renewable, natural
       energy source that is non-polluting.
    -  Help diversify energy supply. To meet increasing energy demands,
       Canada needs to diversify its energy supplies beyond conventional
       sources such as oil, coal and gas.
    >>

Of the respondents who would consider installing rooftop solar panels, more than 20 per cent said they didn't know what to do or where to start when undertaking such a project.

To help Canadians understand the steps to take when considering renewable energy projects, TD has created Going Green: A homeowner's guide to solar energy, available at www.td.com/renewableenergy.

The guide outlines the steps homeowners should take in assessing, planning and installing rooftop solar panels, while outlining the financial and environmental benefits of investing in renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Financing

Forty per cent of homeowners surveyed say they would install solar panels if financing options were available to help with upfront costs.

Canadians thinking of installing solar panels or other forms of renewable energy can visit or call a local TD Canada Trust branch to learn about a range of financing options.

In addition, TD Financing Services provides consumer financing through a network of renewable energy installation companies. Qualified home renovation, geothermal, solar or wind installation companies can offer TD Financing Services to their residential customers.

"By plugging into solar energy, Canadians can reduce their environmental impact with the flick of a switch," says Don Cooper, Manager, TD Financing Services. "Generating renewable energy is a great way to go green."

To view TD's video news release detailing the benefits of converting to renewable energy go to www.youtube.com/TDCanada.

About the Survey

Conducted by Toronto-based Research House on behalf of TD Bank Financial Group, this report presents the findings of an online survey of 1000 Canadians 25yrs+ who own a home and have a primary residence which is either detached, bungalow or semi-detached. The survey was conducted from Friday, July 30th - Tuesday, August 10th, 2010. All respondents reside in Canada.

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