Comfort in energy-efficiency homes

The energy efficiency of Canadian homes has improved greatly over the years. Thanks to major advances in building science and product innovation, today’s new-home owner can expect to use only half of the energy required for a similar home built in 1950, and at the same time enjoy a far more comfortable living environment.

Does this mean that as a new-home owner you do not need to be concerned with the operation of your home or energy consumption? No, far from it. As a homeowner, there are still many opportunities, large and small, to increase the energy performance and comfort of your home.

Your builder or developer will provide you with a homeowner’s manual, which will include operational guides, troubleshooting tips and advice on how to keep your home functioning at its optimal level. More than just understanding how to operate your new appliances, today’s high-performance homes are built as a whole system and require regular maintenance, just like you would service your car.

In addition to regular maintenance, we can all make a difference in our energy consumption.

The recent Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline rupture near Prince George has brought light to the importance of energy consumption. Although the pipeline has been repaired and returned to service, its transmission system is operating at a reduced capacity for the next few months, starting at about 55 per cent capacity and gradually ramping up to 80 per cent. At these production rates, there will not be enough natural gas to support the typical consumption during the winter.

Simple solutions can help reduce energy consumption and bonus, your energy bill, too! Tips sited by GVHBA member FortisBC include:

Shorten your shower time: If each member of a four-person household shortens their daily shower time by two minutes, almost five gigajoules of natural gas will be saved annually. If a community of 100,000 households does the same, it could save enough natural gas to provide space heating for almost 5,000 homes for a year.

Turn down the heat and put on a sweater! If just 11 homes set their thermostat 3°C lower for when they need heat, it could save enough natural gas to provide heat and hot water for one home for a year.

As we like to say here at the association: Together we are better. And as these examples show, if we all reduce our use, everyone can have comfortable, warm homes this winter. For more information on how you can reduce your use, contact fortisbc.com/reduceyouruse

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