How an energy efficient property will save you money

By Vanessa Roman
Home efficiency seems to be on everyone’s minds these days – from existing home renovation projects to new home construction developments and even many local businesses choosing to use products which save energy and reduce utility bill costs while leaving a smaller carbon footprint on the planet.

Natural Resources Canada has three programs – EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR ® for new homes and R-2000 initiatives – which were designed to assist homeowners, homebuyers, investors and homebuilders to make better decisions regarding a home’s efficiency.  

If you’re planning a home renovation this year, increasing the overall level of energy efficiency should be the top priority. Not only will this help you save money on your operating costs by lowering energy consumption, it will also reduce the home’s environmental impact and add value to the property upon resale.    

But before improvements can be made, investors will need to know the current efficiency level and you can find that out by having an EnerGuide home evaluation. This is performed by a licensed energy advisor who uses tools to detect the source of home energy loss from blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters and surface thermometers.  

The advisor will review your property’s utility bills for the past twelve months then assess every room in the home from the basement to the attic to determine how much energy the house consumes, how much it wastes and what measures can be taken to increase the energy savings.

The homeowner will receive a written report that highlights the areas of energy loss and provides recommendations on the best efficiency upgrades that should be done. The house is given a rating for the current level of efficiency and a potential rating once the home renovation and efficiency upgrades are complete.

There are two simple things you can do in the land of real estate that make sense (and save money) to reduce your individual carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The first is to ensure all of your home renovation projects increase the overall level of home energy efficiency and the second is to purchase a new property that has been constructed using ENERGY STAR or R-2000 Standards. Go green!

Vanessa Roman is the host of HGTV's Reno vs Relocation. She is also a licensed real estate agent who divides her time between Halifax and Toronto.

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