ecobee Citizen

Six Home Upgrades You Can Make for a Greener Future

Elevate your home’s energy efficiency with these six upgrades.

by ecobee on 03/26/2024 in Better Planet

7 min read

Two ecobee smart thermostats against green wall with ENERGY STAR Award 2024 Partner of the Year badge for Sustained Excellence.

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As proud recipients of the 2024 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence, ecobee is delighted to celebrate Earth Month by highlighting six essential upgrades that will not only enhance the energy efficiency of your home but also contribute to substantial cost savings.

The prestigious award underscores our commitment and dedication to advancing energy-efficient solutions, ensuring a greener future for all. Partnering with ENERGY STAR has allowed us to deliver impressive savings to our customers while ensuring their comfort.

Now, let's explore the six products in the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade, designed to align with your commitment to sustainability and energy savings.

1) Cleaner Heating and Cooling

Transitioning to clean heating and cooling offers numerous benefits. By adopting technologies such as electric heat pumps or solar-powered systems, homeowners can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, combat climate change, and improve air quality. Clean heating and cooling systems operate more efficiently, resulting in long-term cost savings and financial returns on investment. Government incentives and rebates, along with technological advancements like smart thermostats, make the transition more accessible. Additionally, clean energy sources provide resilience to energy price fluctuations, and the global commitment to sustainability underscores the importance of such transitions in contributing to a cleaner, greener future.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

Explore available rebates and incentives. Many local and federal programs, supported by ENERGY STAR and ecobee, offer financial incentives for upgrading to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

2) Well-Insulated and Sealed Attic

Proper attic insulation plays a pivotal role in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment and reducing energy waste. This upgrade helps regulate temperature, minimizing the workload on heating and cooling systems and subsequently lowering energy consumption. In addition to providing a more comfortable living space, a well-insulated and sealed attic contributes to overall cost savings by optimizing the efficiency of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Homeowners can take a cost-effective approach by considering do-it-yourself insulation projects and exploring local discounts on insulation materials, making this upgrade accessible and environmentally responsible.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

DIY insulation projects: tackle insulation projects yourself to cut down on labor costs. Additionally, explore local hardware stores for discounts on insulation materials.

3) Super-Efficient Water Heater

Traditional water heaters use a lot of energy, and upgrading to ENERGY STAR certified, super-efficient models can lead to substantial reductions in energy bills. ENERGY STAR heat pump water heaters use less than half the energy of a standard electric water heater, which can mean hundreds of dollars in savings per year. Exploring tax credits and local utility rebates further makes this upgrade affordable. This transition not only promotes sustainability but also aligns with broader efforts to conserve energy resources and lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional water heating methods.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

Look for local utility rebates and other incentives: Many utility companies and local and federal programs offer rebates for upgrading to energy-efficient water heaters.

SmartSensor for doors and windows against window and blue wall.

4) High Performing Windows or Storm Windows

High-performing windows or storm windows improve insulation, reducing drafts and enhancing overall energy efficiency. By preventing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, they decrease the reliance on heating and cooling systems, leading to significant energy savings and lower utility bills. The integration of ecobee's smart technology, like its SmartSensor for doors and windows, further optimizes the efficiency of the home's climate control, adapting to environmental conditions and user preferences. Taking advantage of seasonal promotions from window installation companies makes this upgrade more affordable, contributing to both cost savings and environmental sustainability.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

Look for seasonal promotions: window installation companies often run promotions during specific seasons.

Hand adjusting Smart Thermostat Premium against white wall.

5) Smart Thermostats

Transitioning to ecobee ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats is a highly impactful upgrade for homeowners committed to a greener and more energy-efficient future. Smart thermostats play a crucial role in optimizing temperature control, leading to substantial energy savings. They go beyond basic temperature adjustments, learning user habits, adapting to schedules, and allowing remote control through smartphones. In the average American household, where a significant portion of the annual energy bill is dedicated to heating and cooling, ecobee smart thermostats can save you up to $284* per year. While the initial investment may seem significant, incentives and rebates from utility companies, periodic promotions by ecobee, and the option for DIY installation make this upgrade not only affordable but also a wise long-term financial decision. Embracing smart thermostats aligns with a commitment to environmental sustainability, as it actively reduces energy consumption and contributes to creating a more efficient and eco-friendly home.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

Investing in a smart thermostat may seem like a significant upfront cost, but the long-term savings and increased energy efficiency make it a wise financial decision. Here are a few tips to make this upgrade more affordable:

  1. Incentives and Rebates: Many utility companies and government programs offer incentives and rebates for installing smart thermostats. Check with your local energy provider or visit ecobee’s rebate finder to explore potential savings.

  2. Manufacturer Promotions: ecobee periodically runs promotions and discounts which are opportune times to switch.

  3. DIY Installation: Smart thermostats are designed for user-friendly installation. Opting for a DIY installation can save you on professional installation costs. ecobee provides clear and easy-to-follow instructions to help you set up your smart thermostat hassle-free.

Green kitchen with stainless steel appliances and SMEG kitchen mixer.

6) Electric Ready

Preparing your home to be electric-ready is a forward-thinking and environmentally conscious upgrade that aligns with ecobee's commitment to smart and sustainable living. Being electric-ready involves incorporating smart and energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and other electrical features into your living space. This transition supports the ongoing shift toward cleaner energy sources, as electric appliances can be powered by renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. By gradually adopting electric-ready options as current appliances reach the end of their lifespan, homeowners can embrace a budget-friendly approach to sustainable living. This upgrade positions homes to be more resilient to future energy trends, contributing to a greener and more eco-friendly lifestyle while supporting the broader goal of creating a sustainable and efficient energy grid.

How to make this upgrade more affordable:

Make a gradual transition to electric-ready options as your current appliances reach the end of their lifespan for a budget-friendly approach. Tax credits are also available when you upgrade your electric panel.

Thank you for joining us in creating a healthier planet for future generations. "Your energy choices count, no matter how small, and contribute to a more sustainable future. By prioritizing upgrades that have a big impact on energy usage, you're not only saving on energy costs but actively participating in creating a healthier planet for future generations," said Leslie Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Products Media and Content Manager.

We hope this blog post empowers you to take the first steps toward a greener and more efficient home. Each upgrade brings you closer to a sustainable lifestyle, aligning with ecobee's larger environmental goals and commitment to offering smart home solutions that enable planet-positive actions. Happy Earth Month!

* Based on an internal analysis conducted in April, 2021, ecobee customers in North America saved up to 26% on their heating and cooling costs. When you add up the average cost of electricity and natural gas used for heating and cooling ($1,091 USD/$1,490.52 CAD) and multiple it by 26% (ecobee’s savings claim) you get savings of up to $284/$388 (USD/CAD) per year. Annual savings will vary based on your energy use and location. Learn more about how we calculate savings.

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