How can I make my home more energy-efficient?

Whether you’re planning small fixes or major renovations, consider making energy efficiency upgrades. It will help lower your consumption and energy bills, and add value to your home.

Think of your home as a system

All the elements of your house – the building envelope, mechanical systems, indoor and outdoor environment and even the occupants – interact. A change in one area can affect the others. For example, in sealing up air leaks you may need to make changes to your ventilation. Learn how to keep your home operating efficiently by reading the Natural Resources Canada publication Keeping the Heat In.

Make small changes that add up

Save energy and money by making modest investments and minor changes around your home.

  • Install a programmable thermostat – Lower your home temperature at night and whenever you’re away for several hours. You can save up to two percent on your heating bill for every degree you roll back the temperature.
  • Seal air leaks around front door and windows through weatherstripping and caulking 
  • Change your bulbs – Buy long-lasting ENERGY STAR®-certified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • Insulate your pipes – Cover the first two metres of hot and cold water pipes with foam sleeves or insulating wrap to save on water heating costs and lower water usage. (Leave a 15 cm (6-inch) clearance between insulation and vent pipes on fuel-fired water heaters.)
  • Get a timer for your block heater – Set it to turn on just an hour or two before you need to start your vehicle.
  • Upgrade your exhaust fans – Choose ENERGY STAR®-certified models for your bathroom and kitchen and vent them outdoors. Add timers to reduce power consumption.
  • Go low-flow – Install water-saving toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads (rated at less than 7.6 litres per minute). Check and repair leaky faucets and outside hose bibs.
  • Plug in to power bars – Choose models with timers or master plugs that can power-down devices when they’re not in use so they don’t consume standby power.

Learn about important health and safety considerations for energy efficient renovations.

Let the label be your EnerGuide

When you shop for major appliances and heating and cooling equipment, consult the EnerGuide labels. They show a product’s energy performance rating based on minimum standards set by Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations. EnerGuide ratings help consumers comparison-shop with confidence.

Learn how to read and use EnerGuide labels

Explore a searchable list of energy-efficient products.

Follow the ENERGY STAR®

Look for products with the blue-and-white ENERGY STAR® logo. It’s a symbol reserved for only the most energy-efficient models in each product class.

Learn more about the ENERGY STAR® initiative in Canada.

Get an expert opinion

Schedule an EnerGuide home evaluation with an energy advisor. This will tell you how well your home is performing from an energy-efficiency point of view. It can also include recommendations for renovation options for your home – even identify better ways to design and build new homes.

Learn more about EnerGuide energy efficiency home evaluations

Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics

Homeowners should be aware of door-to-door home-energy marketers that ask or even demand to inspect home heating or cooling equipment. These people may claim to be with a Government of Canada program such as ENERGY STAR®, EnerGuide or ecoENERGY.

National Resources Canada and its affiliated programs never perform or authorize others to perform unsolicited inspections. Learn how to identify and report disreputable marketers.

Managing your home’s energy efficiency

Knowledge is power. Find out how much energy your home uses now and how you can lower your consumption by making smart consumer decisions and developing good habits.

Calculate your costs

Before you invest in new appliances or equipment, do your homework with these helpful tools:

Energy cost calculator for new appliances

Energy savings calculator for lighting products

Home heating system cost calculator

Reduce standby power consumption

Even in “standby” or “sleep” mode, many electronic devices draw power 24 hours a day to access networks and run clocks, timers and remotes. This low-level use can account for five to 10 percent of your electricity bill. Cut down on this passive power drain with the following tips.

Look for the ENERGY STAR®

Devices that have this logo use no more than one watt in standby mode. Ask your cable, satellite or internet provider about ENERGY STAR®-qualified set-top boxes that can lower your energy consumption without affecting your service.

Use smarter power bars

Choose a model with a timer that can cut power to devices overnight. Or choose a power bar with a master socket for your TV and sub-sockets for DVD players, game consoles, etc. When you turn off the TV, the other devices power down as well.

Give your devices a holiday

Before you leave on vacation, unplug as many appliances and devices as you can. You’ll save energy – and money – for your next getaway.

Unplug rarely-used devices

Pull the plug on the toaster oven, the printer, the guest-room TV and older devices that use AC adapters.