Energy-efficient homes may be on-trend but at the core, they are a smart future-forward decision to make. An energy-efficient house or condo costs less to heat, cool, light, and consumes fewer natural resources allowing you to save money, while saving energy!
With more than half of your residential energy costs associated to your homes heating and cooling, starting with high-efficiency HVAC is a great start! However, a lot of people are put off by the upfront costs associated with green updates and renovations and some energy-efficient upgrades cost more than others, but rebates and incentives can help cushion that initial investment.
ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES
Does that old kitchen need a refresh? Kitchens are the best renovation you can make in your home for resale value and it’s never a bad idea to splurge a little on the new kitchen appliances, as long as it’s Energy Star rated. Swapping an old fridge for an energy-efficient model, for example, can save you a possible $125/year.
Ways to Save: Buy your appliances from a retailer that will take away the old appliances for free. Or book a free fridge or freezer pick up (on applicable appliances) through the Ontario Power Authority’s SaveOnEnergy program and earn 100 Air Miles.
DOUBLE, TRIPLE OR QUAD-GLAZE WINDOWS
If your windows need a refresh, why not upgrade inefficient single or double-pane windows to Argon- or Krypton-gas filled, triple- or quadruple-glazed glass that will reduce your heat transfer.
Ways to Save: The best way to save if you are in Toronto is to take advantage of the HELP Home Energy Loan Program which offers homeowners low-interest financing on energy-efficiency home improvements. Click HERE for more details!
TANKLESS WATER HEATER
Did you know that your water heater is the second biggest energy drain in the home. A tankless heater heats water on demand – not all day and night, saving you money and energy consumption!
Ways to Save: Enbridge customers can participate in its Community Energy Conservation Program for up to $2,000 in incentives. All you have to do is sign up for an energy audit, implement energy-efficiency upgrades like this one, and start saving!
Keep the cold air out and the warm air from escaping by weather-stripping doors and hatches to the attic from your living space. Insulate the attic itself to trap heat indoor heat and prevent ice on your roof. The higher the R-Value, the better!
Ways to Save: Attic insulation is also included in the Community Energy Conservation Program! But want more details? Click HERE
LOW FLOW FAUCETS & SHOWER HEADS
Low-flow fixtures around the house use less water without affecting performance. If you don’t want to replace your fixtures, just swap out the showerheads and aerators.
Ways to Save: Ontario Union Gas customers can request a free water-saving kit (value $60) including one low-flow showerhead, kitchen faucet aerator and pipe insulation that can save you up to $100/year in energy and water. To request yours, click HERE
A programmable thermostat can save between 10-20% on heating and cooling costs simply by reducing you consumption when you are not in the home to enjoy it! There are so many great stylish options on the market these days, there is no excuse not to have one!
Ways to Save: The easiest way to say 100% of the cost, is to buy or sell your property with me! However, if you have an existing home that you want to continue loving, the Ontario Power Authority offers a $10 rebate on programmable baseboard thermostats. HydroOne offers customers a free programmable air-conditioner thermostat (value $250), when you join the Peaksaver Plus program. Union Gas offers a $25 on-bill customer rebate on programmable thermostats.
HIGH-EFFICIENCY HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS
With 60% of your home’s energy costs tied to heating, swapping to an Energy Star-qualified heating and cooling system can save you up to $325/year.
Ways to Save: The Ontario Power Authority’s Heating & Cooling Incentive can save you up to $650. What a great deal! Click HERE to find out more.
ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED LIGHTING
Replace old light fixtures and incandescent bulbs with Energy Star qualified fixtures, plus compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs, which use 75% less energy. They may cost a little bit more upfront, but they can last decades which is worth the couple extra dollars up front!
Ways to Save: The Ontario Power Authority offers a $5 instant rebate on CFL or LED light bulbs, and a $10 instant rebate on 3-light indoor fixtures. Click HERE for these and other rebates!
ENERGY STAR RATED DEHUMIDIFIER
An energy-efficient dehumidifier costs up to $50 less per year to operate than an older model, and enhances your home’s comfort while reducing the risk of mold.
Ways to Save: Bring your 10-year-old or older dehumidifier to participating Canadian Tire stores for a $50 coupon towards a replacement Energy-Star rated model.
DRAFT PROOFING YOUR HOME
Something we often over look is weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows which can lower your home’s heating and cooling needs by as much as 20%! Grab the caulking gun and let’s get started!
Ways to Save: The Ontario Power Authority offers $2 to $3 off packages of weather stripping and $3 off door frame kits. Click HERE for the offer.