More than three quarters of Canadians want to make their homes more energy efficient, a recent Bosch green savings survey discovered. The vast majority of people interviewed will be taking advantage of government tax credits to make their homes more environmentally friendly.
Canadian finance minister, Jim Flaherty, said the government would make provisions for $400 million dollars in the 2011 budget for tax credits to Canadian home owners who avail themselves of the opportunity to reduce the energy consumption of their homes. The tax credits form part of a government stimulus program, but fall short of the progressive Home Renovations Tax Credit that expired last year.
About 70% of those surveyed were concerned about the spiralling costs of electricity. This fear is not unfounded. In Ontario alone, a revamp of nuclear cooling towers at the Darlington and Bruce nuclear power stations and the proposed building of two new reactors at the Darlington plant will cost an astounding $33 billion, up from the $6 billion originally quoted for the project. Critics of the project fear that hydro bills will double thanks to the ballooning costs of nuclear energy production. Increases in the cost of living resulted in 72% of those surveyed indicating that saving money, rather than environmental concerns motivated their energy saving home improvements. Only 37% said they wanted to reduce their home’s carbon footprint, while 34% said they wanted to increase the value of their homes.
Renovations That Will Reduce Your Energy Consumption
- The use of energy efficient light bulbs makes an astounding reduction to your energy consumption. If you think that a light bulb uses too little energy to make a difference, use your electricity bill to calculate how much you spend on lighting. This will motivate a trip to the home improvement store for more efficient light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs will no longer be produced in the US as the government attempts to phase in CFLs and LEDs. Several other countries have already implemented these measures and Canada will follow suit in 2012.
- Insulation is the key to saving costs. Most of your home’s energy is consumed by heating and cooling. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation helps to create an envelope that prevents heat transfer. EPS can be utilized in floors, walls and ceilings. SilveRBoard EPS is the leading EPS insulator for new construction and remodelling. SilveRBoard is fitted with a reflective, aluminum foil which aids insulation.
- Replace your heating unit with an energy efficient one. Homes expend up to 50% of their energy in heating. Ensure that AC filters are clean in the summer to optimize energy efficiency.
- Installing solar water heaters is ideal, but if that is beyond your budgetary allowances. Decrease the water temperature from 140˚F to 120˚F and save up to 10% on costs.
- Double glazed windows reduce heat transfer by 40 to 50%
- Energy star appliances are energy efficient and well worth the initial investment.