In hopes of improving the energy efficiency of our 100 year-old home, we:
- Replaced the furnace with 95% high efficiency furnace
- Replaced the hot water tank with instant hot water system
- Insulated the walls with spray foam insulation
- Insulated the attic with blown fiberglass
- Insulated the cathedral ceiling with spray foam insulation
- Installed new EnergyStar windows and doors
- Installed new low flow toilets
According to our energy audits, we improved the EnerGuide Rating on our house... but did we actually improve the energy efficiency of our home?
Thankfully, I have been tracking our utility bills since we moved into the house so we can see exactly how much we have improved the energy efficiency.
Our natural gas usage has decreased from an average of 8 GJ per month to 5 GJ per month - a 38% reduction in the amount of natural gas we are consuming! I think it is even more impressive to see our peak gas use in the cold winter months has dropped from 25 GJ in 2006 to 10 GJ this past January. Proof that the high efficiency furnace and spray foam insulation actually do their job! Especially since we also switched from an electric to a natural gas stove in 2008 which would have increased our gas use.
|Natural Gas (GJ)|
Our water consumption has dropped from an average of 18 cubic meters per month to about 9 cubic meters per month. I was skeptical low flow toilets and taps could actually make a difference but I guess I am wrong. I am interested to see if there is a noticeable drop when we get around to purchasing a high efficiency washing machine. I know there would be a drastic drop if Dave would give up his epically long baths.
The ecoEnergy Retrofit Program did not specifically address any electrical items but we have been gradually changing the light fixtures in our house and generally trying to improve our electricity use habits. Our electrical usage has dropped from 475 kWh to just over 350 kWh - a 27% reduction. You can see that our good habits have been slipping and our electricity consumption has been increasing as of late... we need to get back into the habit of turning off our lights! We are also in the progress of switching the 50W halogen bulbs to 4W LED light bulbs - hopefully that will make a big difference.
So there it is - statistics never lie - we actually did improve the energy efficiency of our home. Not to mention we got a wonderful $4,270 refund check from the provincial and federal governments.
Good to see all of our renovation efforts were worthwhile and we will be rewarded with low energy bills for years to come!