The best way to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by your home is to switch from a greenhouse gas intensive heating fuel to a more climate friendly fuel type.

Fossil fuels are the most GHG intensive heating fuels, with oil having the highest emissions, followed by propane and natural gas. Other combustion fuels such as biofuels and wood-based fuels emit greenhouse gases as well. Electricity has the lowest GHG emissions, as over 90% of electricity in BC is from renewable hydroelectricity and electric space and hot-water heating systems are more efficient than fossil fuel.

While fuel-switching is the most effective way to reduce to reduce your GHG emissions, upgrading an old heating or hot water system to a more energy-efficient system of the same fuel type will also achieve GHG savings.

In all homes, when upgrading a space heating system it is wise to consider building envelope upgrades, such as draftproofing, insulation, and upgrading windows as well. A well-insulated, draft free  building envelope may allow you to install a smaller and more efficient heating system, will further improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, reduce GHG emissions and maximize the affordability of your heating bills.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.