Improving the energy efficiency of new homes
Did you know, in Central Saanich, the energy consumption of buildings is our second largest contributor of greenhouse gases? We are working to reduce the GHG emissions in our community, and this includes supporting the construction of energy efficient new buildings and encouraging energy efficient retrofits in existing buildings.
For new construction, the District has...
- created the Development Cost Charges (DCC's) Reduction bylaw where, if eligible, the District's DCCs are reduced by 30%. A development project may be eligible if building not for profit or affordable rental housing, a compact development or energy efficient housing.
- adopted the BC Energy Step Code, Step 3, for new houses built after a rezoning process.
- initiated a public consultation process on the BC Energy Step Code for all new construction. Council is looking for direction from staff, the industry and the public on requiring all new construction to comply with the BC Energy Step Code.
What you can do
For a summary of available incentives for new and existing buildings, check out
BetterHomesBC.ca for houses; and,
BetterBuildingsBC.ca for commercial projects.
Check out the following resources for more information on energy efficient construction.
Six ways to make your home more energy efficient
Draft-proof your home. Drafts can waste 5%-30% of a home’s energy. Try testing doors, windows and chimneys with incense. Where the smoke wavers, a draft is blowing in. To seal leaks, make or buy a “door snake” and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. You can also add small insulating covers underneath the wall plates of the electric outlets on outside walls, or adjacent to cold basements and crawl spaces.
Insulate your windows. Hang heavy curtains to keep the cold out and the cozy in. An even cheaper solution is to apply insulation film, available at most hardware stores. This plastic shrink film is easy to apply and keeps in much of the heat that would otherwise escape through windows.
Reverse your ceiling fans. Many ceiling fans have a reverse mode. When they turn clockwise, they push down the warm air that pools near the ceiling and circulates it through the room. Magic!
Change your furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase the energy demand of your furnace by making it work harder. Make sure to replace your furnace filters at least every three months during the heating season or ask your landlord to. Better indoor air quality is a nice side benefit of this energy-saving tip. Also, consider switching to a washable filter, which will reduce waste and is more effective.
Heat the people not the space. Keeping people warm is much more efficient than heating a whole space. Put on a sweater and slippers. Use an electric heat blanket or hot water bottle. Drink hot drinks. Get cozy.
- Mind your thermostat. For every degree you turn down the thermostat, you can save between 1.5 and five per cent of your heating bill. Keep your space cooler (see #5) and turn down the thermostat when you’re not home or are sleeping. A programmable thermostat will help you get efficient and consistent.