Our homes are our havens but they come at a price. The energy efficiency of our home and the energy they use have a huge impact on the environment. Many Edmontonians are making a change to increase the efficiency of their homes, and some are even investing in solar power. Check out some of their stories.
I recently bought a home and one of the driving factors was its energy efficiency along with the new appliances, heating system, and insulation installation.
I just had a tankless hot water system installed. So much more room and no more high gas bills - awesome!
I believe when we use less energy, the less energy we need to generate at power plants, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves the quality of our air. Energy efficiency helps the economy too, by saving consumers and businesses millions of dollars in energy costs. Depending on the retrofits, energy efficient solutions can lead to savings on energy bills for homeowners and businesses.
I own a fourplex with my sister and we changed all the windows, furnaces, attic insulation in our effort to help. I have insulated blinds to prevent the heat and cold from entering my building. I try to beautify with edibles in my yard. I walk and ride public transportation whenever possible. I try to buy local food. I do not use chemicals to clean - I use a product called Norwex, and vinegar. If it were financially possible I would change to solar power for my building.
I'm retiring and have converted an old double stroller into a trailer to pull behind my bicycle to go to the market and get around instead of taking the truck. We have re-insulated our garage and installed an R-18 garage door and upgraded to R-60 in the attic in our house. We are converting our entire front yard into a raised garden.
My kids have informed me what they learned at school. In doing so we, as a family, we have made many changes in our lives to better the environment. Not only do we ride bikes but our family has been looking at upgrading to solar power in our home and buying an electric vehicle. We have made changes around our home like changing to LED bulbs, new weather-ready windows, and a more efficient washer and dryer. We’ve learned what power we do and don’t need during the day and at night. As I work close to home, I would really enjoy riding a bike to work. Gets hard at times with the weather but if it means less time in a car, the better.
My husband and I have tried throughout our marriage to do the best for the environment. For years we have hung our clothes outside to dry, or in the basement during the winter months. We had the house inspected for potential environmentally friendly upgrades in 2008. Some things we’ve done include: adding triple pane glass on all windows, using blinds or curtains to stop heat or cold, upgrading to low flow showerheads, washing clothes in cold water, leaving grass clippings on the lawn, having a vegetable garden that also contains various fruit trees, using a fan and not having an air conditioner, maintaining three compost bins since the early 1990s, and replacing all of the lights with LED bulbs. We also insulated the basement in 1982, have a high efficiency furnace, added roof insulation in 2008, have a nursery of baby spruce that we then give away when they are big enough or have planted along the freeway with the City organized planters, and we never idle the vehicle. We have nine rain barrels that collect the rainwater off of the garage and house. There is much more that we can do and will continue to do to help the environment.
I asked my 4 year old son about our Change for Climate story. Here is what he said: "We like our electric car because it doesn't pollute the world. We enjoy the internet because it lets us watch important shows on my daddy's laptop. My dad helps me talk with my sister when she is mad at me. We like to play cricket in the soccer field ‘right straight next’ to our house where the soccer players play. I am happy to have solar panels on my house because we save batteries instead of using batteries."
We recently bought a 1,200 square foot, 3 bedroom plus separate entrance basement townhouse infill. The new build means that we have hot water on demand and a furnace, windows and envelope that are energy efficient. Being a middle unit saves heat and being south facing means we get lots of passive solar. We own a semi detached rental home that we upgraded windows to triple pane, new high efficient furnaces and hot water. Both are getting solar installed and we recently bought a used BMW i3.
A couple years ago I upgraded all my windows, siding, doors, and insulation throughout my house. My heating bill dropped by nearly 30%!
I just recently purchased a new home out on an acreage. I want to do as much as I can out here to not impact the environment but rather to help it. Plant more trees, plant my own garden, use a clothesline instead of the dryer, someday install solar panels on the roof, etc. I am already doing many things but I want to do more.
We have been trying to reduce our environmental footprint for a long time in our family, including insulating our house and upgrading the windows, doors and furnace. With our mortgage paid off, we felt it necessary to act because we were able to. We invested in solar panels for our house this year and purchased a used electric vehicle that we now use as our primary vehicle in our two-vehicle household. I encourage anyone else in a similar position to act now. We are very grateful for the City rebate on our solar panels.
Interested in making your home more energy efficient? There are rebates to help you with some of the cost—check out the Canada Greener Homes Grant and our Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator program.