Energy Conservation / Environmental Improvement Links

Last updated 2024.02.26

Finally, making your house more energy efficient, especially with a view to reducing GHG emissions, is becoming cool with government decision-makers. However, the funding and financing programs are generally local (based on what government or organization is sponsoring the program). The current 'flavour-of-the-month' is apparently heat pumps, but I recommend that if circumstances allow, people should start with the boring old basics like upgrading insulation, installing better windows, insulated window coverings, awnings to reduce solar gain during the cooling season, draft-proofing around doors and floors, etc. When it comes to comfort, it isn't the actual temperature that matters, but the perception of cold (which is often about drafts) and heat (where moving air gently can be as beneficial as owering the thermostat. If you can reduce your heating and cooling demand by these techniques, you may be able to use a smaller (less expensive) heat pump when it comes time to install one - possibly even one that runs on 120 volts rather than 240 volts, which may also save on wiring changes or even a house-level electrical service upgrade.

When it comes to looking for funding or financing programs, your best bets are web searches and reaching out to organizations that are knowledgeable in the space.

Depending on where you live, such upgrades may also qualify for tax credits. If you do such upgrades, keep the receipts and see what the tax forms may permit (or tell your tax-preparer about the amounts and receipts and see what they can find).

In any of the items below, if you see a reference to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), substitute LED (light emitting diode) lights. LEDs are generally less expensive, come in more convenient form factors, and are less of a problem in the event of breakage. I also like that LEDs are 'instant-on' rather than going through the 'warm-up' start inherent with CFLs. LEDs are also a little more efficient (more light, less heat) than CFLs. Both are better than incandescent lights in terms of efficiency.

12 Ways to Make an Old Home More Energy Efficient

17 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

[dead link:] The Energy Saving Now website

[abandoned site:] How to live without air conditioning (or reduce the associated bill)

<[dead site:">Natural Resources Canada Energy- and Money-saving Tips booklet (PDF file)

[dead link:] Start Now To Make Your House More Energy Efficient (Yahoo Real Estate)

[Site no longer exists:] Respect For All Website (in particular the Initiatives and Actions sub-pages)

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