Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, energy efficiency is something that everyone can benefit from. Most energy efficiency improvements, like LED light bulbs, lower flow shower heads, and Energy Star appliances work just as well as their less efficient counterparts, plus there are some big benefits built in.
You protect the environment.
Protecting the environment tops our list because there truly are few things more important than making sure we’re having as small a footprint on the planet as possible. We rely on the environment for everything; healthy food, breathable air, water that’s safe to drink, and a climate that can sustain life.
In Canada, 84% of energy produced comes from crude oil, natural gas, and nuclear. Natural gas and crude oil are both a type of fossil fuel that has a large carbon footprint. Nuclear energy has a significantly lower carbon footprint, contributing far less to climate change, but the waste product is difficult to manage effectively.
Thankfully, renewable energy is catching on. Most new energy added to the grid every year is renewable, which is great! But for now, saving energy means easing the impact you have on the planet.
You save money.
There are different reasons to choose energy efficiency over less efficient items. Not only does energy efficiency reduce your impact on the environment but it saves you money too. Switching from incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs results in a 90% reduction in the cost of lighting your home. Not just that, but the average LED lasts 22,000 hours, while an incandescent bulb only lasts about 1,000 hours. The savings in lightbulbs alone pays for the cost of an LED bulb.
Similarly, according to the EPA’s website, switching from an old, inefficient refrigerator to a new Energy Star refrigerator can represent $100 in savings every year. Eventually all of these investments pay for themselves. Beyond that, it’s money in your pocket.
You enjoy a better quality of life.
Investing in energy efficiency results in a smaller footprint on the environment and money saved, but it can also mean an overall improvement in your quality of life. Updating your heating and cooling and added extra insulation to your home can mean a warmer home in the winter, a cooler home in the summer, and a dry home when it’s damp outside. A more comfortable home means a healthier home too, with mold and other allergens unable to spread and cause problems.
You increase your home’s value.
The real estate market loves energy efficient homes. Homes with new, efficient heating and cooling systems, Energy Star appliances, solar panels, and new insulation often have added curb appeal. This appeal increases the value of your home and can make for a much quicker sale than if the energy efficiency upgrades had not been made.
You protect yourself from rising energy costs.
Over the last decade, the cost of electricity has increased by around 4% a year on average. This is typically dependant on a few factors, but mostly the increase is the result in increasing costs of natural gas, where the bulk of energy production comes from. Depending on where you live, because the cost of energy is rising, a solar panel system installed today can have itself paid off in as little as 5 to 10 years. The average solar system lasts 20 years before needing to be replaced.