(Canada – Ontario) A new report reveals that by simply retrofitting homes with better insulation, Canadians could save hundreds per year on electricity bills and play a big role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study, commissioned by NAIMA Canada using data collected by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), included an audit of 634,000 homes in all provinces and territories and is the first of its kind to measure energy performance in a representative way.

The study set out to determine how many homes in Canada are under-insulated and to estimate, both regionally and nationally, the energy and cost savings that could be produced by upgrading under-insulated homes to contemporary standards set by the national and provincial energy codes (the “Retrofit Potential”).

“If all communities across Canada upgraded to the full retrofit potential just to meet today’s energy codes, the savings are materially significant both to the homeowners’ pocketbook and to our environment”, said Jay Nordenstrom, Executive Director of NAIMA Canada.

According to their analysis, if a typical home in Edmonton were to be retrofitted to code, a family today could expect to save up to $400.00 on their electricity or oil bills each year. Savings will vary depending on specific factors, such as the level of insulation already in the home, use of an air barrier, thickness of insulation installed, R-value of insulation installed, environmental conditions, and numerous other variables.

“This is a significant sum of money for a family to incur, especially if we are looking over the long term and when we consider that the savings can help pay for other family priorities. By re-insulating it also helps mitigate future energy price increases,” said Nordenstrom.

The report also revealed that, nationally, homeowners are generating 4.26 million tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions that could otherwise be saved.

“Beyond greenhouse emissions, we are also talking about millions of litres of fuel and billions of kilowatt hours in wasted electricity simply because heat is escaping our homes due to insufficient insulation.”

Newer homes today are built to more rigorous energy performance standards, including higher insulation levels, improved airtightness, and more efficient mechanical systems. But older homes not held to this same standard are the primary cause of the lost energy savings.

“Typically homeowners in Canada crank up the heat in the winter and the air conditioner in the summer to deal with uncomfortable homes, unnecessarily leading to higher electricity bills and wasted energy.  Re-insulation is a simple way to keep a home warmer in winter and cooler in summer without intervention and added costs,” added Nordenstrom. “We hope that this report shines light on all of the ways that homeowners can play an integral role in energy conservation. Collaboration on all levels, from decision makers to companies and consumers is required if we are to make positive changes.”

“Improving energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways Canadians can take action on climate change. As we meet our Paris commitments, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories on strategies to reduce emissions from the housing sector. Ensuring homeowners are part of the solution is an integral part of our approach.” said The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

The executive summary is now available online, along with NAIMA Canada’s directory to financial incentives for insulation upgrades at www.naimacanada.ca.

Media Contact: Jay Nordenstrom | 613-232-8093 | jnordenstrom@naimacanada.ca