What to Ask When Buying a Home: Things Every First Time Homebuyer Misses

Published on October 19, 2018

Things Every First Time Homebuyer Misses


A lot of homeowners and homebuyers have a sort of love/hate relationship with energy efficiency. They love having a home that is energy efficient as it saves them money, has less of an impact on the environment, and improves at-home comfort, however they often hate the perceived headache of getting their home up to snuff. BSG believes that the hate is largely unjustified, as conducting a home energy audit is simple and straightforward, with the results explained by our Registered Energy Advisors in easy to understand terms; and often opening the door to many home renovation rebates to save you even more money.


Why is Energy Efficiency Important, and How Can it Help?
Energy efficiency is so much more than an environmentally concerned practice. In a more energy efficient home with less heat being exchanged and less energy lost, the home not only becomes significantly cheaper to heat or cool, it also increases the overall comfort of the home by removing unwanted air currents or drafts.


You might be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys a drafty home and likes paying big energy bills, so investing in a home that has been built with energy efficiency in mind can also dramatically increase your resale value in the future. If the cost of energy suddenly rises, homeowners with efficient homes will also see their wallets be the least impacted. Consider how concerned you are with lowering your energy bills right now, and then think how much more concerned you will be in the future if the price of energy related resources increases. This makes investing in energy efficiency of absolute importance when preparing for the future and looking to increase the comfort of your home.


So, What Should You Ask Your Realtor?

The first and foremost most important question relating to home energy efficiency is: does this home have an EnerGuide Label, and if so, may I see it? This question allows you to locate and read the energy performance of the home on a simple and familiar label that you may have already seen on appliances, furnaces, or even light bulb packaging before. If the home you are looking at doesn’t have an EnerGuide label, asking to see the home’s energy bills from the past year is your next best bet to estimate projected energy usage for when you move in.


What the Future Holds for Energy Efficiency in Ontario

Looking at homes and working with a realtor can be an involved practice, although with mandatory airtightness tests for newly constructed homes being in the pipeline, every new home will soon be transparent in terms of energy usage and efficiency. The voluntary labelling of older homes is also becoming a more standard practice, as it can provide the homeowner with numerous benefits and rebates, and can aid them during the process of selling a house. Armed with knowledge on a home’s energy performance, both homebuyers and homesellers have an advantage when it comes time to move. Home buyers receive stronger and more concrete information regarding energy efficiency, and home sellers can use their home’s energy efficiency as an attractive selling point.

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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