Green your home: A guide for homeowners

Taking steps to green your home will reduce your impact on the environment. It can also help lower your consumption and energy bills and add value to your home. Whether you're planning small fixes, appliance upgrades or major renovations to your home, consider making them energy-efficient.

On this page

Using energy-efficient appliances

Reducing how much electricity your home appliances use is good for the planet and helps cut down on monthly bills.

For example:

  • Unplug small appliances, like coffee makers and lamps, when they're not in use.
  • Unplug larger appliances, like TVs or dehumidifiers, when you leave your home for an extended period.
  • Turn off indoor lights when not in use.
  • Dry your clothing on a clothesline when possible.
  • Use your washing machine's cold water cycle.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Consider installing water saving faucets, shower heads or toilets.

Before buying new household appliances, do your research. Some appliances are more energy-efficient than others. Look for the ENERGY STAR logo when buying energy-efficient products in Canada. The EnerGuide label will show you how much energy a product uses and how it compares to similar models.

Choosing green heating and cooling solutions

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings use about 36% of global energy and emit approximately one third of greenhouse gases. Choosing eco-friendly solutions to heat or cool your home can help lower consumption and save on energy costs in the long run.

  • Save 2% on your energy bill for every 1 degree Celsius you lower your thermostat overnight.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate temperatures in your home year round. Other information provided by your thermostat, like the humidity level, may help you better manage the temperature efficiently.
  • Look for EnerGuide labels on heating, cooling and ventilation equipment to check their level of energy efficiency.
  • Install more efficient equipment, like ENERGY STAR® qualified products.
  • Improve the performance of your existing equipment by hiring qualified professionals to conduct maintenance services.

Additionally, you may consider renewable energy sources from sun or wind. These resources can be converted into electricity with a wind turbine, photovoltaic panels, or heat with solar collectors. Consult the Renewable energy page on the Natural Resources Canada website for more information.

Green renovations

When planning renovations in your home, consider making green changes to save energy.

Starting with an EnerGuide home evaluation can help you find out what it takes to make your home more energy-efficient. A certified energy advisor can provide you with a report about your home's energy performance. This report will pinpoint energy-wasting issues in your home, such as unwanted air leakage or heat loss areas, and recommend fixes or upgrades that would work best for your home. You will also receive a renovation action plan to help you choose energy-efficient investments that offer the best value for your money.

For more information on green renovations check out the following pages:

Buying a green home

When looking to buy a new home, consider energy-efficient options.

By choosing an ENERGY STAR certified home, you get one that's 20% more energy-efficient than a typical home. You also have the peace of mind that it's backed by a trusted, internationally recognized brand.

R-2000-certified new homes are best-in-class, offering 50% more energy efficiency than typical homes. They typically feature:

  • Efficient heating and cooling systems
  • High insulation levels in walls, ceilings and basements
  • High-efficiency windows and doors
  • Whole-home mechanical ventilation

To learn more, visit the Buying an energy-efficient new home page.