Also in this Section
Case Study: Eco Housing Renovations

Case Study: Home Renovations to Increase Energy Efficiency

solar panels for homesAs part of our real estate symposium, we are writting about a case study with retrofitting of an existing home. Energy efficiency is a key selling point for new homes. However, those who own older homes can enjoy all the same benefits by retrofitting and renovating their current dwelling, whether it is a condo, an apartment, or one of many row houses, detached houses or farm houses around the country. Retrofitting is a convenient and economical choice for homeowners who want to save money on heating and cooling costs and reduce energy consumption. Older homes can be made more comfortable without the inconvenience of moving, and homeowners can reduce their impact on the environment at the same time.

Homeowners who are considering renovating their homes for improved efficiency should consider having a professional come to their home to perform an energy audit, which will help them to determine what types of renovations would be the most effective in reducing energy consumption. When they are ready to begin renovations, a trusted contractor can help to find competent professionals. When hiring tradespeople on their own, homeowners should ask for references they can contact before any work begins.

The Chamber of Commerce is implementing a limited launch of a program to help homeowners renovate their homes to be more energy efficient and eco friendly. This program will allow users access to key contacts to aid in their projects. This will be helpful for homeowners who are selecting contractors or tradespeople. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting new beta program, please contact us today. It will currently be available only to a select number of applicants, who will be testing the program in its early stages.

A Case Study: Energy Renovation of Single-Family Houses in Canada


couple renovating residential homeSam and Leila Johnson purchased a home for their family in 2012 in an older neighbourhood containing mostly detached houses in Edmonton. Because their home was built in the 1950s, the insulation in the walls and attic was poor and it seemed like the house was always cold. The windows and doors did little to keep the cold out during the winter; anyone standing nearby could feel the biting wind coming in around the edges. In the summer, the lack of insulation in the attic meant that their house seemed to heat up very quickly; the top floor was almost unbearably hot when the temperatures climbed in the summer. The Johnsons considered their choices. If they moved to a new home, they would have to leave behind the neighbourhood they loved with large trees and established schools. If they tore down their house to build a new one in its place, they would be without a home for months or years, not to mention the expense. The best option seemed to be renovating. 

image of house window systemThe Johnson family found a contractor familiar with building codes and began their project to improve their home's energy efficiency. They replaced windows and the weather-stripping around the doors. They improved the insulation in their home's attic and replaced their old electric heating system with a modern, high-efficiency furnace. A humidifier improved the comfort levels during the winter, and the improved insulation helped keep the heat at bay in the summer.

A programmable thermostat helped them to only use as much heat as they needed. The home now had an efficient furnace that had to work much less than the old one because the home was subject to significantly less heat loss. The Johnsons were pleased to see their gas bill decrease significantly. Once the project was done, they decided to be more eco-friendly by harvesting solar energy, so they installed solar panels on their south-facing roof. Because they live in one of the sunniest cities in the country, the energy they were able to generate made a significant difference in their electricity bill.

The Johnsons enjoyed the comfort of their newly renovated home until Sam received a transfer from his company last year. They were reluctant to leave their home, but when they placed it on the market, they were surprised to find that it sold for a premium over the other houses in the neighbourhood that had not had similar renovations done. The new buyers wanted to live in a neighbourhood with established amenities, but did not want to be subject to the draughty conditions the Johnsons has experienced during their first winter in the house.