How an energy-efficient home can save you money

These simple tips are friendly for the environment – and your wallet

Choosing to live in an energy-efficient home is great for the environment, but it can also result in significant savings for you. “The demand for green homes is growing in Canada for two reasons,” says Corey McBurney, President of EnerQuality, a provider of green building services. “The consumer is becoming more sophisticated when it comes to saving money on their energy bills, and governments are driving forward to reach policy objectives such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

As a result, it’s easier than ever to ensure your home is energy efficient. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new green property or want to make changes to your current residence, these tips can help make your home more eco-friendly.

Install a whole-home electricity monitor 
A whole-home energy monitor is an easy way to reduce your energy use. The monitor tracks the amount of power you and your family use on a daily basis. “This information will hopefully give you the incentive to turn off the lights when you can,” says Paul Golini, Executive Vice-President of green-building company Empire Communities.

Make sure your home is airtight 
Sealing all your doors and windows will certainly make your home more energy efficient and comfortable, Golini says. He also recommends sealing the joints in your duct work with duct tape to prevent air leakage.

Check for the Energy Star rating 
Make sure you see the Energy Star certification symbol when purchasing new windows, doors or a new furnace, Golini advises. This third-party international company ensures the product you’re purchasing meets strict energy-efficient guidelines. Choosing Energy Star windows and doors could cut your energy bills by up to 10 per cent, according to Natural Resources Canada. Plus, an Energy Star certified furnace could increase the resale value of your home.

Increase insulation 
Upgrading the insulation in your home can reduce your energy bills by up to 30 percent, according to Natural Resources Canada. “If you’re buying a new home, make sure your builder is putting in more insulation where possible in the basement, ceilings and walls,” Golini advises. If you’re modifying an existing home, put more insulation in the attic. Not only will proper insulation help save you money, it will also make your home more comfortable in the winter.

Learn about Genworth Canada’s Energy-Efficient Housing Program 
With their Energy-Efficient Housing Program, Genworth promotes making environmentally friendly choices by offering savings to home owners who purchase new green homes or make energy-efficient changes to their current properties. Benefits include a 10 per cent refund of Genworth’s mortgage insurance premium.

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