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Green renovationEco-Friendly Renovations: How to Include Green Home Principles
In a setting where environmental protection and energy transition have become significant concerns, green home renovation efforts are now a growing preoccupation among many homeowners. The benefits of moving forward with such a process are beyond that of simply reducing one’s environmental impact. Green homes allow for significant energy savings while improving the overall comfort enjoyed by dwellers. In this article, we’ll delve into how you can align renovation efforts with green home principles.
In this day and age, energy transition is a major issue that we're facing head-on. The proof of the matter is that we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and promote renewable energy sources. Given the context, structural renovation efforts come out as a sure way to reach such goals and ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.
Buildings represent a significant part of the worldwide energy consumption. According to the International Energy Agency, infrastructures are responsible for nearly 40% of all the final energy consumed globally. Hence, a big chunk of said consumption is attributed to heating, cooling, and lighting buildings.
Energy-efficient building renovation efforts enable reducing a homeowner’s ecological footprint by reducing their energy consumption. Thermal insulation, for example, limits heat loss during the winter and lessens the need for air conditioning during the summer. This measure can result in a significant energy consumption drop, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy-efficient renovations also contribute to improving the quality of life of building occupants. Enhanced thermal and acoustic insulation enables one to mitigate outdoor noise pollution and guarantee better indoor thermal comfort. Such aspects are especially important for individuals residing in rather noisy urban areas.
By moving forward with energy-efficient renovation efforts, homeowners benefit from financial advantages. In fact, reducing energy-related expenses translates into substantial savings on energy bills. Moreover, numerous financial initiatives and grants are established by governments and institutions to financially support renovation projects.
Energy-efficient renovation efforts in buildings also contribute to growing local employment opportunities. Renovation work requires the intervention of qualified professionals such as artisans, renewable energy technicians, architects, etc. Therefore, such efforts drive the local economy and generate new employment opportunities.
Energy-efficient building renovations are a channel for improving the heritage value of a property. A renovated and energy-efficient structure is deemed more attractive by real estate market standards, increasing its value as well as homeowner satisfaction.
Green home renovation efforts have become a priority for numerous homeowners conscious of reducing their environmental footprint and saving energy, in the long run. In Canada as a whole, as well as in select Canadian provinces, several programs and initiatives have been established to encourage homeowners to improve their home’s energy performance.
Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program was developed to financially incentivize homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy-efficient heat pumps. With incentives ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for retrofits (subject to terms and conditions), this program accommodates various renovation projects. Whether opting for small-scale or complete overalls, homeowners can find comprehensive solutions tailored to their needs.
In essence, the program facilitates energy-efficient home improvements by providing financial assistance and a straightforward application process, fostering community involvement for a positive environmental impact.
The Eco Roof Incentive Program available in Toronto is proof of the city’s commitment to sustainable urban living. Offering financial incentives to homeowners means bringing awareness to eco-friendly and energy-efficient renovation efforts. This program was designed to offset the costs of installing green roofs (or cool roofs), offering grants wavering from $5 to $100/sq.m (up to $100,000 for green roofs and $50,000 for cool roofs), subject to terms and conditions. Note that applications must be approved prior to undertaking any rooftop-related work. You’ll also need to request a building permit from the city.
The Rénoclimat grant is a program made available to Quebec homeowners to promote energy-efficient home renovations. This program was put together to allow homeowners to benefit from a home energy evaluation at a low cost.
Should they be found eligible, they will receive a grant to carry out their renovation work aimed at improving their home’s energy efficiency. This grant is meant to reduce household energy costs and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Homeowners can also receive tailored advice regarding renovation choices to prioritize in order to maximize their property’s energy efficiency. In a nutshell, the Rénoclimat grant encourages homeowners to invest in climate-friendly renovations to save money while also fostering environmental sustainability.
The Novoclimat grant is a program established by the Government of Quebec to encourage energy-efficient buildings. This initiative is aimed at promoting the development of sustainable constructions and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The grants offered by the Novoclimat Homes Program enable homeowners to receive financial assistance to carry out energy-efficient renovations or build green homes. As a condition of receiving this grant, the building must meet strict energy efficiency criteria and obtain a Novoclimat certificate.
This initiative contributes to improving home energy efficiency and prioritizes a green energy transition in Quebec.
The LogisVert Efficient Homes Program was established by Hydro-Québec as a way to incite homeowners to carry out energy-efficient home renovations.
This program offers different grants for single-family households looking to carry out energy-efficient renovations or for new constructions. Eligible renovations include the following:
Energy-efficient heating or cooling system installation
Applicants must put in a request prior to carrying out renovations and hire a certified contractor to do so. This initiative allows homeowners to reduce their environmental footprint while significantly saving on their energy bills.
Hydro-Québec’s Efficient Heat Pump Program is an initiative aimed at driving the use of energy-efficient heat pumps.
This program offers discounts to residential and commercial clients who choose to install an eligible heat pump with a high-performance rating. Such devices help reduce the following:
Greenhouse gas emissions
Heating and cooling costs
The basis of the program is to encourage homeowners to embrace efficient and greener technologies.
This program is aimed at increasing energy efficiency in new constructions as well as residential renovations on a national scale. This program is managed by Natural Resources Canada, and focuses on 5 key categories:
Indoor air quality
To be eligible for this green home renovation grant, homeowners must adhere to a specific set of criteria.
The dwelling must be a single-family home, a townhouse, a duplex, or a triplex. Mobile homes, co-owned properties, and commercial buildings are therefore not eligible.
The home must be heated primarily using electricity, natural gas, oil, propane gas, or biomass. Furthermore, the homeowner must be willing to carry out energy audits pre- and post-renovation work.
The renovation work must improve the home’s energy efficiency by at least 15% compared to the initial evaluation.
Homeowners must be willing to respect certain mandatory requirements in terms of sustainability, such as using eco-friendly materials during the renovation.
As for the financial side of a climate-friendly renovation project, several options are made available to homeowners looking to become applicants for the Canada Greener Homes Initiative. Among the options, one can find reduced-rates mortgage loans, government grants, and well as tax credits.
Besides the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, the Canada Greener Affordable Housing Program also offers residential property owners the opportunity to renovate their homes using a green approach. This program is specifically designed for low- or modest-income households to ensure they can benefit from financial assistance to carry out energy-efficient renovations.
Green homes, also known as climate-friendly or eco-friendly homes, are currently growing in popularity. They’re designed to reduce their environmental footprint, favouring the use of sustainable resources and creating healthier living spaces for the occupants. Here are a few key benefits of green homes.
Green homes are built to be energy efficient. They use effective heating and cooling systems, and have high-performance insulation and double-glazed windows, enabling dwellers to significantly reduce their energy use. This translates into lower electricity bills and a reduced carbon footprint.
Green homes prioritize the use of sustainable and eco-friendly building materials. Such materials are often recycled or issued from renewable sources, such as salvaged wood or natural fibre insulation. By using such resources, homes lower their environmental impact, creating healthier living spaces.
Green homes are designed to enhance indoor air quality. They use controlled mechanical ventilation that filters incoming air and eliminates harmful pollutants. This mitigates health issues related to poor indoor air quality, such as allergies and respiratory problems.
Green homes promote construction waste reduction by using recycled or salvaged materials. Moreover, they’re often equipped with composting or recycling systems to encourage the dwellers to adopt sustainable living practices. This significantly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and contributes to better resource management.
Green homes tend to have a higher real estate market value compared to traditional homes. Buyers are increasingly eco-conscious and willing to pay more for a house offering long-term environmental benefits and energy savings.
Home retrofits embracing green living are an essential step toward energy transition. It enables reducing a residential building’s ecological footprint while improving the comfort of occupants and generating energy savings. Courtesy of such green renovation programs and government-offered financial incentives, homeowners are given the opportunity to efficiently align the two. Therefore, it becomes crucial to sensitize homeowners to the benefits of a green home and provide the necessary information to carry out energy-efficient renovations. Green homes and retrofits are complimentary and a subtle solution to a bigger problem.
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Last modified 2024-01-29
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