How to Transform Your Home into an Energy Efficient Affordable Home

Published on March 18, 2019

How to Transform Your Home into an Energy Efficient Affordable Home

There are a number of effective ways that a homeowner can improve their home’s energy efficiency, helping to make their home with high operational costs transform into an affordable home. Not every method for improving energy efficiency comes with a high price tag either - in fact many homes are able to see significant energy efficiency improvements simply by having a few small and affordable changes done to their building envelope.

Small lifestyle changes that conserve energy are also beneficial for homeowners to consider in the name of affordability, and they are even able to help a home that is already efficient and affordable become an even more affordable home.

If the EnerGuide Rating system was implemented for all homes on the housing market, more homeowners could become aware of how easy it may be for their home to conserve energy, helping save them money on utility bills and contribute towards lowering the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the province.

Strategies to Lower Operational Costs

A homeowner is able to conserve energy in their home simply by becoming more aware of how energy is used, and how it can be used more efficiently. Through a complete application of the EnerGuide Rating system, homeowners would be having a Home Energy Assessment conducted before they put the home up for sale, and although the assessment can make the homeowner more aware of their energy consumption and what energy saving modifications they could make to their home, there are still a few ways that energy can be conserved through smart energy practices at home.

This includes doing things such as: hanging clothes to dry instead of using a dryer whenever possible, using power bars for electronics so that they can all be turned off at once when not in use, and slowly making the change towards compact fluorescent or LED lights  - especially in the lights that see the most use. For a small cost, motion sensor lights can also be installed in high-use rooms to great effectiveness, along with a low flow showerhead to reduce hot water use.

By making small lifestyle changes such as these, homeowners can effectively reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions without having to make any significant financial investments. However with a home energy evaluation through the EnerGuide Rating system, homeowners would be made aware of every possible method for improving energy efficiency in their home, and the Registered Energy Advisor who conducts the evaluation can organize the suggested methods for improving energy efficiency in terms of what will provide the home with the biggest energy efficiency gains per dollar spent.

An Energy Efficient Home is an Affordable Home

A More Affordable Home is the Goal of an Energy Rating System

A home does not need to be retrofitted to Net Zero Home levels in order for it to become an affordable home. Although having an energy efficient home that is able to produce as much energy as it consumes each year is extremely cost-effective and environmentally friendly, many homeowners could see emission reductions and energy savings by following the suggestions that would be included as part of a complete implementation of the EnerGuide Rating system - or by having a Home Energy Assessment conducted voluntarily.

The EnerGuide Rating system is able to guide homeowners towards greater improvements to their home’s energy efficiency and affordability, and has the potential to significantly contribute towards helping Canada reach its greenhouse gas emission targets. The reason for this, is that by having a Home Energy Assessment already conducted prior to the home going on the market, Realtors could use the information in the assessment to spark interest in the home, homeowners could see an increase in their home’s market value due to an increase in buyer transparency, and homebuyers could move into a home with a plan for improving energy efficiency in the future already laid out for them.

Energy Efficiency Improvements Make for a More Affordable Home

Whether conducted as part of an energy rating system, or at the will of the homeowner, a Home Energy Assessment provides a complete outlook at a home’s energy efficiency, and can supply the current or new homeowners with all the information they need to make an informed decision regarding energy efficiency upgrades. For this reason, it is often recommended that the first step towards improving a home’s energy efficiency should start with a Registered Energy Advisor conducting a Home Energy Assessment.

As part of the assessment, the expected yearly energy and financial savings of each energy efficiency improving suggestion are included, and the assessment is even part of the qualification process for up to $5000 of home renovation rebates that are currently offered to both Enbridge and Union Gas customers in Ontario - helping to make it even easier for homeowners to plan their improvements accordingly and see a return on their investments even sooner.

The suggestions in a Home Energy Assessment often include modifications or retrofits such as: having air leaks identified and sealed, installing or improving attic insulation, placing weather stripping around leaky doors, or having a smart thermostat installed. These suggestions, along with many others that are possible, can go a long way in making a home more environmentally friendly, more affordable to operate, have a higher market value, have better air quality, and even become more comfortable due to draft reductions and a better building envelope.  

With full implementation of the EnerGuide Rating system on homes up for sale, more homeowners could become aware of how easy and affordable many energy efficiency improvements in their home can be, helping to lower energy consumption in Ontario and keeping more money in the pockets of Ontarians. By seeing which suggested improvements would increase their home’s energy efficiency the most for the price, homeowners can also be better equipped to plan their budget for current or future home improvements.

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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