As a homeowner, it can be tricky to nail down how your home and lifestyle impact the environment, and where you can make the biggest difference.
In Ontario, emissions from home heating make up as much as one-third of the average homeowner’s annual emissions. Here in Ottawa, emissions from heating and cooling our buildings make up 45% of local emissions! That means your home is great place to start to look at your climate impact, and make some changes for the better.
The easy first step to greening your home and reducing your climate impact is getting a home energy audit. Over one million Canadians have already jumped on this trend and had their homes assessed, giving them the tips and guidelines they need to reduce their home emissions while saving up to 60% on home energy costs.
Did you know?
- 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from household decisions, including heating and cooling and electricity consumption.
- 80% of energy consumption in households is used to heat the spaces we live in, and for the water we use to wash, clean, and cook.
Getting a home energy audit is your first step to understanding your home emissions, and starting to take action on climate.
What is a home energy audit?
Simply put, a home energy audit is a questionnaire, completed by a Registered Energy Advisor to assess the energy efficiency of your home. The Energy Advisor’s job is, first, to gather information to analyze and report on your home’s energy performance and, second, to provide you with advice on what and how to retrofits your home to reduce your consumption and your costs.
At the end of your assessment, the Energy Advisor will provide you with a home energy efficiency rating, a detailed information sheet, and a list of recommended upgrades. The advisor will go over the results with you to ensure you understand, and answer any questions you may have.
Why should I do it?
The usual answer to this question is: you can save money. Our answer is: saving energy saves the planet. So, why not do both?
A Home Energy Audit is a roadmap that shows you how your home uses and loses energy and the best ways to improve its efficiency. It can also give you insight into the indoor air quality and overall comfort of your home. After your assessment you will have the beginnings of a clear map to improving your home with respect to comfort, climate and costs.
Also, Energy Audits are required for eligibility for a range of energy efficiency incentive programs and rebates. Your Energy Advisor can provide you with information about the government rebates available, and you could receive as much as $5,000 of your renovation costs back.
What will an Energy Audit tell me?
- How to reduce your climate impact – your audit will identify what you can change in your home to have maximum positive impact on your climate emissions.
- How to save on energy – your audit identify the best bang for your buck with respect to energy savings, ensuring you reduce costs as well as energy use.
- How to improve your home – your audit will show you ways to reduce drafts, and how to improve temperature and air quality
Want more detail? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Home Energy Assessments
And here are some great examples of home improvements that started with an energy audit…
Does this really matter?
Yes! Ottawa’s target is to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050, which matches the global target for emissions reductions to keep our world healthy and stable. And it is estimated that around 75% of the homes standing today will still be standing in 2050. That means that to reach our target (and keep warming under control), every one of those roughly 250, 000 homes will need to be retrofit to maximum energy efficiency! Chances are, your home is one of those homes. Your impact matters.
Ok, Where do I start?
Want to go further?
We’ve taken your questions about the green home, and popped them into a fun, engaging, Green Lifestyle Course, to help you dig deeper into the environmental and climate impact of your home, and how you can take action. Check out Your Green Home, coming July 6th!
What’s good for the planet is good for you.