Steps in a Deep Home Energy Retrofit

A home energy retrofit pathway sets out a plan for making your home more comfortable, resilient and energy efficient. Your Registered Energy Advisor will assess the current energy efficiency of your home, recommend specific upgrades and help you develop your retrofit plan.

Contractor shaking the hand of a homeowner in a kitchen

Creating Your Home’s Deep Energy Retrofit Plan

A good retrofit plan bundles upgrades into three steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Depending on the age of your home or past upgrades, your starting place on the pathway may vary.

Generally, planning and completing these steps in the recommended order maximizes the efficiency and impact of your retrofit.

For instance, if a retrofit plan leaves out the insulation and other building envelope upgrades identified in Step One, and your home is losing a lot of heat, a new heat pump or furnace will need to be larger and use more energy to compensate for that extra heat loss. That’s a more expensive option to buy and operate over the long run!

However, if you live in a newer home with an excellent building envelope your energy advisor may recommend topping up insulation in the attic and moving directly to Step Two.

Three Steps in a deep energy retrofit project

Step 1 Inspecting And Upgrading Your Home’s Building Envelope

Heating our houses is the largest user of home energy. Your home’s building shell is inspected for its air leakage rate and insulation. Upgrades may include insulation in the basement, walls, exposed floors, and attic, along with window and door upgrades, and sealing and draft-proofing cracks and gaps around your home.

Learn More about Building Envelope upgrades, benefits, costs etc.

Step 2 Upgrading Your Home’s Mechanicals

Your home’s space heating and cooling, water heating equipment, lighting and other appliances are checked and upgraded as needed to improve efficiency. This includes ensuring your HVAC system is the proper size for your home after adding insulation, and installing a heat-recovery ventilator.

Learn More about Mechanical upgrades, benefits, costs etc.

Step 3 Installing Renewables

When we have minimized the amount of energy needed by the house through envelope and mechanical improvements, renewable energy supply can be added to provide the much smaller remaining energy requirement. This step includes installing roof or ground-mounted solar PV systems (home battery systems to store excess solar energy or cheaper off-peak grid electricity) and solar hot water systems.  

Learn more about Renewable upgrades, benefits, costs etc.