PEI

7 steps to building a more energy efficient home

EfficiencyPEI and the City of Charlottetown are trying to encourage home owners to save energy — and money — when building a new home or fixing up an old one.

Planning properly is environmentally-friendly and can save you money, says EfficiencyPEI

Building an energy efficient home is environmentally-friendly and can save money in the long-term. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

EfficiencyPEI and the City of Charlottetown are trying to encourage home owners to save energy — and money — when building a new home or fixing up an old one.

The city and the provincial agency have put together a panel discussion that will offer tips on how to save energy

Andy Collier, one of the speakers and the energy program officer at EfficiencyPEI, said small decisions can go a long way.

Properly insulating windows for air-tightness is another way to save on energy costs. (EfficiencyPEI/Facebook)

"It's not just the technology. It's not just the heating system or putting solar panels on the roof or putting a heat pump on an existing building," Collier told Island Morning.

"They really need to look at the house as a system and all the parts are connected and they all affect one another. And if you take care of the bones of the building, those upgrades at the time of construction, they're going to last the life of the home."

7 steps

Collier and EfficiencyPEI have put together a list of seven steps to building a more efficient home.

Making sure your home is well insulated is an important way to save energy and money. (EfficiencyPEI/Facebook)
  1. Build smaller: Reducing the square footage of your home is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce energy consumption. Smaller house, less to heat.
  2. Passive solar: Orienting your windows to the south and east while reducing the number of windows on the west and north is a no-cost way to get free heating. 
  3. Air tightness: One of the most prominent areas of heat loss is through air leaks in the building envelope. Luckily, it's also one of the easiest (and cheapest) improvements to make
  4. Insulation: Heat moves in the home through conduction, convection and radiation. All of these methods transfer heat, from inside to out. To minimize heat loss through the walls, you have to insulate them.
  5. Windows and doors: To be sure you're using the most energy efficient and air tight products on the market, keep your eyes peeled for the Energy Star label.
  6. Lights, appliances, electronics: Lights, appliances and electronics can consume a lot of electricity but by investing in the most efficient products you will reduce energy consumption on a day to day basis. 
  7. Heating systems: Once you have a well insulated and air-tight home, the heating system you choose has less impact on your energy consumption. 

For more information on the seven steps visit EfficiencyPEI.

The panel discussion takes place Monday, Jan. 23 at the P.E.I. Brewing Company at 7 p.m.

With files from Stephanie Kelly