An Energy Efficient Home is an Affordable Home

Published on December 19, 2018

An Energy Efficient Home is an Affordable Home

A question many homeowners find themselves asking at one point or another is: how can I make my home more affordable? The answer is quite simple – an affordable home can be created through energy efficiency improvements.

Every home is different, and as a result the method of improving energy efficiency varies from home to home. However, the way that any homeowner can determine which energy saving strategies would be the most effective and affordable in their home, is by having a Home Energy Assessment conducted by a Registered Energy Advisor.

How Efficiency Makes for an Affordable Home

If you were to compare an energy efficient home to an inefficient one, you may notice a few substantial differences. The efficient home is not only better for the environment due to its lower energy consumption, but it can also be significantly more comfortable than the inefficient home. This is due to the efficient home’s high level of airtightness and strong insulation, which contributes to the removal of unwanted drafts and creates a more uniform temperature throughout the house.

Energy Efficiency Makes An Affordable Home

The energy efficient home is also much more affordable due to its low operational cost, as less energy is required to run the home and keep it comfortable. This is especially true in highly energy efficient Net Zero Homes, as they are able to combine high levels of efficiency and on-site renewable energy sources to produce enough energy to fulfill their home’s needs over a 12 month period.

With a Home Energy Assessment, a homeowner can determine how energy efficient their home is, and  be presented with a number that represents their home’s overall level of energy efficiency, called an EnerGuide Rating. If Home Energy Assessments were made to be mandatory in Ontario, and every home had to display its efficiency information through the form of an EnerGuide Rating, a significant environmental and economic benefit could be seen for homeowners and for the province.

The EnerGuide Rating System Can Lead the Way to A More Affordable Home

With a mandatory energy rating system, homeowners and the province of Ontario are not the only ones who would benefit. Home buyers, homeowners, real estate agents, and the environment are all able to see the perks of a mandatory system.

Home Energy Assessments are able to provide homebuyers with more information about a home’s expected costs, allowing them to prepare for a home’s future expenses accordingly. Having them be mandatory before a home goes up for sale is especially beneficial to first time home buyers, as they can move into a home that already has a plan for improving energy efficiency in the future - allowing them to make informed efficiency improvements at their own pace.

Homeowners can see an increase in their home’s value due to mandatory Home Energy Assessments, as the assessment enables them to see just how cost-effective it may be to improve efficiency in their home. Homes with high levels of energy efficiency often have low operational costs, which makes them desirable on the housing market. The assessment also shows homeowners how long it would take for them to see a return on their efficiency-improving investments. Improving efficiency before time of sale can improve the EnerGuide Rating the home would receive, which works to reduce operational costs and increase the home’s value on the market.

Real estate agents also stand to see a benefit from mandatory Home Energy Assessments. It's rather common for realtors to help their clients find homes with certain amenities, such as a pool or an ensuite bathroom, but with every home requiring an EnerGuide rating before they are put up for sale, realtors could be able to help their clients shop for home’s based on their desired level of efficiency or yearly utility costs. This could add yet another way for realtors to assist their clients in the process of buying a home.

The environment also benefits from home efficiency improvements, as it reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are released from within Ontario. With mandatory home energy evaluations, more Ontarians could be made aware of how affordable and impactful improvements to home efficiency can be, inspiring more homeowners to consider upgrading their own home’s efficiency - helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Take Control of Your Home’s Operational Costs

A home does not need to be retrofitted all the way to the standards of a highly energy efficient Net Zero Home in order to reduce its operational costs. Improvements to energy efficiency can go a long way in making a home more affordable to live in - even small improvements. By having a Home Energy Assessment conducted, homeowners are able to see exactly how affordable and effective each improvement to efficiency in their home could be, along with the expected utility and energy savings of each suggested improvement.

Energy Rating Report

For many homes, the most effective way of improving energy efficiency is through simple and affordable modifications or retrofits, such as improving the level of insulation in the attic, or having an Air Tightness Test conducted so that air leaks can be found and properly sealed. But with the information provided from a Home Energy Assessment, homeowners can be certain which methods for improving energy efficiency would be the best fit for their home and for them, as the advisor who conducts the assessment can organize the suggested methods for improving efficiency in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Additionally, a Home Energy Assessment can help homeowners qualify for the home renovation rebates that are currently available for both Enbridge and Union Gas customers - helping to make it even more affordable for Ontarians to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

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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