So, you're a new homeowner? Congrats! That’s no small milestone. Whether you’ve got keys to a new build or you’re working on a fixer-upper, it can be easier to build green habits when you start fresh, rather than retrofit. Here are a few tips to consider as you enter your new digs to save energy and save money.
1. Choose a green ATCOenergy plan
If you’re a homeowner trying to make more eco-friendly choices, look no further than ATCOenergy’s green plans. You can supplement your electricity plan with an environmentally friendly green option for as little as half a cent per kWh!
With a green plan, you have the choice to have 25 or 100% of your electricity sourced from renewables. Best of all? We try to source all of our green energy from sustainable Alberta-based sources, which is one more reason to love what Alberta has to offer!
2. Re-think your appliances
If the purchase of your new home means that you're also in the market for some new appliances, think green. And we’re not talking that retro avocado green appliance set! (Did we hear those are making a comeback!?) We’re talking energy efficiency, and when it comes to new appliances, that can pay off big time.
There are a lot of shiny bells and whistles to get lost in, but first and foremost, look for the ENERGY STAR® certification. This certification ensures that your appliances are reducing your carbon footprint by preventing greenhouse gas emissions and using water efficiently. All of that effort to save energy will save you money.
If you aren't splurging on fancy new appliances and you're keeping existing ones, make sure they’re in good working order to help keep them as efficient as possible. You’ll notice a difference on your monthly energy bill with regular filter changes and energy efficient bulbs, and when you only plug in what you need.
3. Consider installing solar
New property means new opportunities, especially in Alberta — with more than 300 days of sunshine every year, we’re perfectly situated to take advantage of solar power for our homes! Installing solar panels on your roof will provide you with the freedom to produce your own clean energy from a renewable source.
While pricing varies for each home, the cost is typically around $2.50 per watt installed. And though everyone’s system and energy habits are unique, the average home in Alberta uses about 6,900 watts per year — meaning that if you installed just 22 solar modules, you could be operating at net-zero!
4. Get your garage wired up for an EV charger
Have you made the switch to an electric vehicle (EV), or plan to in the near future? You’re not alone. More than 65% of Canadians are considering purchasing an EV next time they buy a car.
So while you’ve got a clean slate (and an empty garage), be sure to consider EV charger installation. You know… before you fill your garage up with tools, sporting equipment, Christmas decorations, vehicles, or whatever else you store in there. Rümi experts can give you a hand with installation, permits and even micro-generation applications.
If you need a little more convincing to make the electric plunge, check out the federal government’s incentives and rebates on zero-emission vehicles.
5. Get to know your new location
New homes come with a bit of exploration. You might be in a new neighbourhood, or maybe you're just learning the nuances of your new property. Whatever the case, spend some time in and around your house, taking inventory of where the elements may cause wear-and-tear over time.
Take note of the direction of your windows. Maybe your north-facing windows need heavy drapes to keep out the winter wind, or you need to plant a leafy tree to shade a sunny window.
Listen for shakes, rattles or hums. Creaking and clanking could be a sign that something’s not working as well as it could be. A quick call to Rümi to Ask a Home Inspector could help identify any hidden energy guzzlers. You can even connect via video call!
6. The best defence is a good offence
Like with any good relationship, you can keep the spark alive with your new home by remembering the little things (AKA: staying up to date with regular maintenance and TLC).
Rümi service bundles are a great place to start — schedule them when it’s convenient for you and keep your home in tip-top shape. Each bundle includes a variety of services that will perk up your property, like duct & furnace cleaning; dryer vent cleaning; lawn fertilization & weed control; or window washing, to name a few! There are four bundle options sure to meet all of your home cleaning and maintenance needs. Check out Marvellous Move-In, Spruce Up Your Outdoors, Super Clean, and Ludicrously Clean to see which package works best for you. An added bonus? You’ll save more when you purchase services as a bundle!
Setting your home up for long-term efficiency will mean long-term savings. Whether you tackle these tasks when you move in, or make them a part of your regular upgrades and updates, you’ll be investing in sustainability you can really benefit from. Welcome home!