Home energy efficiency in renovations should be a priority

Many homeowners are looking for ways to lower their energy bills these days. If you are one of them, you will want to prioritize energy efficiency during your next renovation.

Equipping your home with energy-efficient windows, insulation, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning will not only help you reduce energy usage and cut costs, but will also make your home more comfortable and will help lower the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Before you start your renovation, schedule an EnerGuide home energy evaluation with a registered energy adviser. They will conduct a thorough assessment of your home, measuring and collecting data about all of the elements that affect its energy performance, from airtightness to insulation, to heating and cooling systems.

Once the assessment is complete, you will receive an EnerGuide label with a rating of your home’s energy consumption. The label will show the proportion of energy consumed by each system in your home and will compare your home’s performance to that of a typical new house.

The energy adviser will also give you a renovation upgrade report, with a customized action plan to improve the energy efficiency of your home, and will complete any forms required to receive applicable rebates from utility companies. When your renovation is finished, you can schedule another assessment to see how your home is performing and obtain a new EnerGuide rating.

To find out about rebates and incentives for home energy efficiency upgrades, visit the City of Toronto’s BetterHomesTO. This resource lists programs such as the city’s Eco-Roof Incentive and Home Energy Loan Program, Enbridge’s Home Efficiency Rebate, Winterproofing and Smart Thermostat programs, and the Ontario Energy Board’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. You will also find a savings calculator that will help you figure out how much energy you will save with certain upgrades.

BILD is a partner of BetterHomesTO and you will find our RenoMark program’s Reno Guide on the BetterHomesTO resources page. The Reno Guide provides step-by-step information from renovation professionals on how to approach a renovation or custom homebuilding project, including energy-efficiency considerations.

If you are looking for a renovator who can guide you in making your home more energy efficient, I encourage you to work with a renovation professional who is part of the RenoMark program. RenoMark renovators commit to a Code of Conduct that requires them to offer a minimum of one-year warranty on all work, carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance and provide a detailed written contract.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the homebuilding, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. For the latest industry news and new home data, visit www.bildgta.ca.


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