5 Green Ideas for Your Home
1. Get smart!
Smart home owners can connect their home’s Internet-enabled devices to an app on their smart phone or laptop, allowing them to control various systems locks remotely. Smart home technology can reduce waste in heat, cooling, lighting, and water usage, which can save you money on utility bills over the long term – and support the efficient use of energy.
Not surprisingly, insurers are starting to offer discounts on home insurance for sensor-enabled homes that notify homeowners of leaks and threats (which lowers the risk for claims). For example, a water sensor detects a water leak in the laundry room in the basement and notifies the homeowner right away. The owner is able to take action quickly and avoid a flood.
Similarly, security monitoring systems can contribute to savings on your home insurance premiums.
2. Update your plumbing
Energy-efficient pipes and plumbing systems help your home use water more efficiently, and reduces the risk of cracks, leaks or poor water quality. Insurers prefer modern plastics (PEX) or copper pipes and will likely reward you for updating your plumbing systems because it reduces your risk for water damage claims.
3. Insulate your walls and roof
You can improve your home’s eco-friendliness by consuming as little energy as possible. Few factors influence the overall efficiency of your home like insulation can. Good insulation within walls and in the roof helps to hold in the heat in cold weather and keeps the cool air in during summer. Plus, insulating your pipes will protect them from freezing and bursting in the cold winter temperatures.
4. Upgrade heating and cooling systems
New, energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems can improve energy efficiency by maintaining a consistent, comfortable temperature year-round, and reducing the incidence of fire as well as frozen pipes. For greater efficiency, you might want to consider a ground-source heat pump or an electric, gas or propane tankless hot water system. Insurance carriers view newer, updated systems as lower risks for claims, which could translate to lower premiums.
5. Appliances and lighting
Save significantly on your electricity bills when you:
- Choose ENERGY STAR® appliances: These are rated by the Canadian government for maximum energy efficiency, and rebates and tax credits are available upon purchase.
- Switch to LED light bulbs: You can reduce the cost of lighting your home by installing LED lightbulbs. They use less energy and last longer than regular lightbulbs.
- Unplug your electric devices: Chargers, televisions, laptops, hairdryer, electric razors -- if not in use, unplug them, as they continue to consume energy while they’re plugged in.
Government incentives to help you go green
Need an added incentive to go green? Provincial and federal governments are making it more cost-effective than ever to go green at home by offering rebates and tax credits to homeowners who retrofit their homes with environmentally friendly products and upgrades. For example:
- Ontario offers rebates for eco-friendly upgrades such as $5,000 toward approved window replacements and $20,000 for Energy-Star ground source heat pumps.
Find out about the rebates available in your province.
Go green – and save on home insurance
If you’ve recently installed energy-efficient windows or upgraded to smart home technology, talk to your insurer. You may qualify for savings on home insurance, because your risk factors for making a claim might be reduced. A smaller ecological footprint, lower energy/water bills and savings on insurance. What could be better?
For more on this topic, visit:
Insurance and Going Green: What You Should Know
From energy-efficient windows to ENERGY STAR* appliances, making environmentally friendly upgrades to your home can save you money, reduce your ecological footprint and even help lower your insurance premium. Here are some ideas to “green” your home.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.
*The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and are registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.