Hanging Clothesline Bans Out To Dry: McGuinty Government Building a Culture of Energy Conservation

QUEEN'S PARK: News Release - 21 January, 2008

The McGuinty government is moving to end the bans that prevent some Ontarians from simply hanging their laundry out to dry.

In some areas of Ontario, builders' covenants or other restrictions don't allow outdoor clotheslines. The government is asking the public for input on how to best end these restrictions through a 60-day posting on Ontario's Environmental Registry at

"Building a culture of conservation is all about giving Ontarians every opportunity to save energy and save money," said Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. "By simply using a clothesline instead of a dryer Ontarians can help reduce the overall demand on the electricity system and save money."

The government's proposal would permit the use of clotheslines and/or clothes umbrellas for occupants of any freehold detached, semi-detached or row house. The government is also consulting with stakeholders in the condominium and high-rise sectors to assess how to potentially proceed in those environments.

Clothes dryers are among the most energy-consuming appliances in the home. On average, a standard clothes dryer will use about 900 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year and can lead to as much as one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions . That means that over the course of a year, five clothes dryers could result in roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as an average size car.

Electric clothes dryers typically account for about six per cent of residential electricity consumption. By hanging just 25 per cent of those laundry loads out to dry, consumers could save about $30 a year on their electricity bills and make a meaningful contribution to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases.

"By removing the ban on clotheslines, the government will enable all Ontarians to take an easy and sensible measure to conserve energy," said Ontario's Chief Energy Conservation Officer Peter Love. "I commend the Ministry of Energy for moving forward on a change to our standards that will help create the `culture of conservation" Ontario needs - let's keep moving in that direction."

Key components of the McGuinty government's plan to build a culture of conservation include:

Banning the sale of inefficient light bulbs by 2012 as new more efficient options enter the market. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use around 75 per cent less electricity than standard old fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Encouraging innovative energy conservation programs such as Peaksaver - a voluntary program that allows local distribution companies to remotely cycle down central air conditioners, water heaters and pool pumps when the electricity system is stretched.

Offering a point-of-sale retail sales tax exemption for ENERGY STARr light bulbs, decorative light strings, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, freezers, dehumidifiers and room air conditioners, purchased, rented or leased after July 19, 2007 and before July 20, 2008.

Legislating improvements to the Ontario Building Code to give it the toughest energy-efficiency standards of any building code in the country.

The Environmental Registry:

Registry Number: 010-2553

Citizen and consumer information is available by calling 1-888-668-4636

Media Contacts:

Alan Findlay

Minister's Office

(416) 327-3546

Sylvia Kovesfalvi

Communications Branch

(416) 327-4334


Box 282, North Bay P1B 8H2

tel 705 497 0373 fax 476 7060

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