Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Home Energy Efficiency

You’re doing your bit to make you life as wasteless as possible, reducing, reusing and recycling. Now it’s time to look at making your home a lean mean energy-efficient machine. Even if you rent, you can take these tips and pass them onto the owner.

To find out more on what one family did to make their home more energy efficient, click here.

TO Do This Week

Home Energy Efficiency
No doubt, making your home energy efficient is a large investment and something you will need to plan.

There are government incentive programs to help you retrofit your home. Well sort of. If you are a Canadian, the federal EnerGuide program under Natural Resources Canada has been discontinued. Why? Good question. This program helped homeowners cover some of the costs to make their home more energy efficient. They’ve also axed the EnerGuide for Low Income Houses (EGLIH), a $500-million, five-year initiative introduced with all-party support last November.

What’s the Big Deal?
The average home emits 11 tonnes of GHG each year. Space heating and cooling represents 41% of these emissions and water heating 14% (appliances make up 34%). Making your home more energy efficient reduces you GHG footprint and will save you money.

The Renovation Roadmap is sponsored by Natural Resources Canada – the Office of Energy Efficiency, Canadian Homebuilders Association and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It offers all sorts of useful advice and web links.

I encourage you to contact Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada and let them know how you feel about the axe to the EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive program. Heck, why not write to Stephen Harper and your Member of Parliament while you’re at it. Ask them why they’ve cut this popular program and what they plan to replace it with.

Contact your province and city to find out about their incentives or tips to make your home energy efficient.

BC Hydro
Quebec Hydro
New Brunswick
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The US Department of Energy offers tax credits for purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid-electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances and products.

For one-stop shopping on state and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and efficiency check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE).

Energy Savings Trust has a list of funding and grants to help take the financial bite out of renovation.

If you know of any other incentive program, please let me know!

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