Canada Must Reduce Building Emissions

Published on November 30, 2018


Canada Must Reduce Building Emissions


A recent report from the Canadian Senate was released, which claims that higher levels of efficiency in homes and buildings is needed in order for Canada to significantly reduce the amount of carbon emissions it releases every year.


The report indicates that electricity used in homes and buildings account for 17 percent of Canada’s total emissions - with the largest contributor of this amount being the burning of fossil fuels for space heating.


Canada is part of the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, and must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 207 million tonnes a year by 2030, if it wishes to meet its emission reduction targets.


The report says that by having federal, provincial and territorial governments coordinate their actions and completely implement their plans for reducing emissions from homes, they can move Canada 10 percent closer to its target.


“Incorporating energy efficiency and emissions reduction measures into new buildings is practical because new buildings can be designed to be higher-performing from the outset,” said the report.


It continued to say that existing homes can similarly benefit from energy efficiency investments, as they can pay themselves off over time through reduced energy costs, but some retrofits are still too expensive. For this reason, innovation in the energy efficiency market needs to be stimulated so that newer retrofit technologies become more affordable.


“There is currently underinvestment in the types of energy efficiency improvements that are needed to reduce building emissions in line with Canada’s emission reduction targets,” said the report.


To address this, the report says that financial incentives from the government are able to incite efficiency investments.


A carbon pricing system is also said to be able to promote efficiency investments, as improving efficiency or avoiding emitting is often more desirable to those who must pay for their emissions.


Improving Home Efficiency


If you are a homeowner in Ontario who is interested in helping Canada reach its emission reduction targets, a significant and effective way you can contribute is by reducing your own home’s emissions. This can be effectively done in a number of different ways, but by improving your home’s efficiency you not only save money on utility bills, but your home can become more comfortable, have better air quality, and also become more valuable in today’s housing market.


The first step towards improving your home’s energy efficiency is by contacting a company such as Barrier Sciences Group, and having a Registered Energy Advisor conduct a Home Energy Assessment. After the assessment is completed, the advisor will be able to present you with a list of energy saving solutions for you to consider, along with a complete look at how efficient your home truly is.


Quite often the most effective way of improving a home’s efficiency is through simple and affordable modifications, such as improving the level of insulation in the attic, or finding and sealing air leaks.


To make it even easier for you to see a return on your efficiency investments, both Enbridge and Union Gas are offering a number of home renovation rebates to their customers - having a Home Energy Assessment conducted can help you qualify.  


The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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