However, once we got talking I asked him, "Did you not put in new windows in the last year." to which he replied "Yes." Then I asked him did he not just put in Energy Saver Appliances." To which he also answered "yes."
Then I asked him why? His answer was he "wanted to lower his costs and save energy"!
Myself, I have been doing similar things. A couple of years ago when energy audits were just starting, I had one done on my home, and came in an EnerGuide rating of 78 - not bad for a 25 year old home.
But I found out where I was losing energy; I found out by having the electrical outlets and caulking checked. This audit got me thinking, and so whenever I do any retrofitting I think if it will cut down on using energy.
This was the start; so far I have:
- Increased my insulation to R50
- Insulated my hot tub
- Put in a new front door (your best-return reno investment)
- Changed my gas fireplace to a more efficient model
- Replaced dripping bathroom faucets with new taps
- Switched to a more efficient toilet - in my case, a dual flush toilet
- Changed light bulbs to CFL type
Just with these few changes I have found drastic changes in my hydro and gas bills.
However, I do have a lot more to do on my "enviro bucket list" such as:
- Replacing two more toilets
- Getting some rain barrels
- Getting some plants local to the area for near my downspouts and for making gardens
- Replacing a few windows with low-e glass or getting California shutters
- Getting possibly bamboo flooring in bedrooms or local wood floors
I am getting on in life and have seen many changes along the way and my fear is that of my grandchildren. If we each do a little bit, hopefully this earth will be sustainable for them.
Lydia Ingles is a sales representative with Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd. in Newmarket, Ontario.