Know your score: City of Saskatoon launches digital home energy map

Saskatoon residents can now access a new online tool to learn their homes’ digital energy score and know which energy-saving upgrades make the most sense.

Article content

Saskatoon homeowners now have access to a new online tool that can help boost the comfort and energy performance of their home.

The Home Energy Map is a free interactive tool that shows the energy efficiency of Saskatoon’s 69,280 single-family homes, each assigned a digital energy score.

Article content

Hilary Carlson, GHG Controls Specialist with the City of Saskatoon, says the map aims to help homeowners understand the energy performance of their property, learn how to prioritize home improvements and make the most out of current incentive programs for energy efficiency.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“The Home Energy Map allows homeowners to see the digital energy score of their home and get a sense of whether they could be paying less to heat or cool their home with some renovation tweaks,” she says. “It is like a digital EnerGuide label.”

The score gives homeowners an idea of how energy efficient their house is in comparison to similar homes, which can help to identify where and how energy is being lost. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home is.

The score also reveals which energy upgrades make the most sense for a homeowner to undertake.

“This tool can help people realize what home improvements are the best bang for their buck,” says Carlson.

Homeowners can use the City of Saskatoon energy map when planning home renovations
The Home Energy Map is a free interactive tool that helps homeowners understand the energy performance of their property, prioritize home improvements and make the most out of current incentive programs for energy efficiency. SUPPLIED

The software was developed by Vancouver-based OPEN Technologies, which used artificial intelligence and machine training to generate energy ratings.

“The goal of the map is to educate and engage homeowners so they can embark on their energy efficiency journey,” says Donovan Woollard, CEO and co-founder of OPEN Technologies.

The map is built on the same recommended categories as the federal EnerGuide program, which considers everything from building envelopes and insulation to heating and cooling systems.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Once they receive a digital energy score — an estimate of the annual energy consumption of a home — homeowners can then register to refine their home information and receive a customized, cost-estimated retrofit roadmap tailored to their home and budget.

City of Saskatoon interactive energy map tool
The energy map gives homeowners an idea of how energy efficient their house is in comparison to similar homes, which can help to identify where and how energy is being lost. SUPPLIED

Homeowners who have already made energy-saving upgrades can access the map to upgrade their score.

“They will then receive an updated score and a new retrofit roadmap,” says Woollard.

The consumer-centric portal connects homeowners to other resources, such the federal government’s Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which offers grants and loans for such retrofits as home insulation, windows and doors, heat pumps, solar panels and more.

The map can also be used by those looking to purchase a home to see the energy efficiency of the property or if it’s been renovated for efficiency.

Upgrading insulation is an easy way to improve a home's energy efficiency
Some of the main home energy-loss culprits include inadequate insulation and drafty doors and windows. Learn about easy ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency by connecting with the City of Saskatoon’s free energy coaching services provided by Canadian energy experts, Summerhill. SUPPLIED

Free energy coaching

Homeowners can receive further assistance by connecting with the City of Saskatoon’s free energy coaching services provided by Canadian energy experts, Summerhill.

Energy coaches help homeowners navigate their personalized list of home energy retrofits, prioritize upgrades and advise on incentive and rebate programs.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“The role of an energy coach is to walk homeowners through the basics of their home energy improvement project,” says Wendy Lalonde, an energy coach with Summerhill.

“We educate them on upgrades that can reduce energy use, including insulation, window and door replacement, solar installation and air-source heat pumps,” she says.

And they can point out some of the main home energy-loss culprits including inadequate insulation, drafty doors and windows, phantom electrical loads and inefficient appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines.

Energy coaches also provide tips that can help reduce day-to-day consumption, such as regularly changing furnace filters, switching to LED lighting, putting vehicle block heaters on a timer and investing in a smart thermostat.

Homeowners who have completed an EnerGuide home energy audit can also engage an energy coach to assist them to understand the report results.

In addition, Summerhill’s energy advisors can go more in-depth with the report or provide a virtual or in-person walk-through of the home and assist them with prioritizing upgrades based on such factors as cost, comfort and energy reduction.

Advertisement 5

Article content

City of Saskatoon is offering advice on energy efficiency upgrades
The City of Saskatoon has set an energy efficiency goal of renovating 50 per cent of existing homes to be 50 per cent more energy efficient by 2030.

Reduce greenhouse emissions

Shawn Silzer, senior communications director with Summerhill, says with today’s rising energy costs, homeowners can achieve significant savings by improving their home’s energy efficiency.

It can also help reduce carbon emissions.

“Helping to reduce energy consumption is a role all of us can play in addressing the challenges of climate change and help minimize our individual greenhouse gas emissions,” he says.

Residential energy consumption accounts for 42 per cent of Saskatoon’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Saskatoon has set an energy efficiency goal of renovating 50 per cent of existing homes to be 50 per cent more energy efficient by 2030 as part of its Low Emissions Community Plan.

The Home Energy Map is among the tools to help achieve this goal.

“Home energy upgrades can help homeowners reduce their energy consumption and utility bills while reducing emissions at the same time,” says Carlson.

To access the City of Saskatoon’s Home Energy Map and learn more about home energy renovation resources, visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/services-residents/homebuilding-renovations-improvements/home-energy-renovation-resources

The Home Energy Map project was funded by the Green Municipal Fund, a fund financed by the Government of Canada and administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

THIS STORY WAS CREATED BY CONTENT WORKS, POSTMEDIA’S COMMERCIAL CONTENT DIVISION, ON BEHALF OF CITY OF SASKATOON UTILITIES & ENVIRONMENT

Article content

Related Posts