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Marrying home renos with energy upgrades

​Renovations seem pre-destined when you’re recently married and living in a bungalow built in 1963. While some household upgrades focus solely on making a home look better, incorporating energy efficiency upgrades while you are renovating can make your home more comfortable and save you energy dollars in the long run.

“We were interested in starting some renos and after finding out about the rebates, decided to look at ways to improve our home’s energy efficiency and reduce our heating bill,” says Kelowna homeowner and newlywed Russ.  Along with his wife, he opted to take advantage of the Okanagan Energy Diet.  The program offered participants a discounted energy assessment, energy saving products installed directly in their homes, hands-on help applying for up to $6,000 worth of rebates and financing options to make energy efficient improvements in their homes.

According to Gille LeSage, the certified energy advisor assigned to Russ’s home, an energy assessment only takes about an hour and a half for the average home and everything from the attic to the basement is measured for energy performance. Using those measurements, standardized software generates an EnerGuide® rating, which tells homeowners how efficient their house is.

The blower door test—a fan mounted on an exterior door opening to measure a home's rate of air leakage—showed that Russ’s attic and wall spaces required additional insulation to help to reduce air leakage.

As part of the assessment, Lesage produced a full report with other suggested energy efficiency upgrades, including a savings sheet that detailed an estimated return on each of the energy investments.

With all this good energy advice, Russ and his wife know exactly what home upgrades will improve their home’s EnerGuide rating and help reduce their monthly heating bills. That’s a pretty good place to start for home renovations and for their happily ever after.