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Study Shows Retrofits for Existing Housing Most Effective

Canada Mortgage and Housing studied the impact of renovations on homes and came up with some startling results.

Before renovations, there were between 10.6 and 43.8 air changes per hour in the homes, with Energuide ratings between 55 and 18. After renovations, these air changes were reduced to 3.5 to 7.8 per hour and Energuide ratings improved to between 74 and 81. The annual energy savings to homeowners were between $1,460 and $1,813.

This study shows that to significantly reduce green house gases, governments should focus on improving existing older homes through Retrofit Programs and Home Renovation Tax Credits.

Renovations to Canada’s existing housing stock reduce demand for energy, cut GHG’s, and save families money.

As for new homes, they are reasonable energy efficient through affordable programs like Built Green and tend to have 2 or 3 air changes per hour. The cost to eliminate half an air change per hour in a new home offers diminishing returns and can add thousands of dollars to the cost, making the home unaffordable for young families.

If the goal is addressing climate change and reducing GHG’s, Canada needs to focus on retrofits for existing housing stock while promoting programs like Built Green to keep new energy efficient homes affordable.


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