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Energy efficiency of residential dwellings in Quebec : A profitable and sustainable investment (part 2)

Energy efficiency of residential dwellings in Quebec : A profitable and sustainable investment  (part 2)

Some examples of green technologies



Lighting is shown indisputably as the easiest system to replace and moreover, the period of return on investment is often limited to only a few months. It is now well-known that the incandescent bulbs can be replaced by fluocompact bulbs which consume 75% less electricity. On the other hand, few people know that the fluorescent lamps of the T12 type can be replaced by new lamps of the T8 or T5 type, which are much more efficient. With these simple measures, substantial savings can be realized.



With the rigorous winters that Quebec knows, the costs of heating represent another important expenditure. To take again our example, according to the Energy Efficiency Office, these expenses can account for 64% of energy consumption of the residential sector. However, simple systems can contribute to reduce these costs. Here are some examples:


- Programmable electronic thermostats: now within everyone’s range, they are used more and more and they guarantee an immediate impact.


- Condensation boilers driven by natural gas: a majority of buildings with residences still count on boilers with natural gas and on obsolete fuel oil offering an efficiency oscillating between 60% and 80%. However, some condensation boilers available on the market can offer more than 95% of efficiency. The condensation boiler is a boiler having the characteristic of benefiting from the heat of steam contained in exhaust fumes, by condensing these vapors before rejecting the water in liquid form. Thus, the output of such a boiler is much higher than the traditional boilers.


- Heat recovery systems of gray water: these systems make it possible to extract heat from the hot water which is rejected towards the sewers of the city and to reinject this same heat to preheat the entry of cold water forwarded to the domestic water-heater.


With a period of return on investment which varies between one and four years, all these measures should be adopted for all the types of buildings.


Renewable energies

In addition, renewable energies are also shown to be very interesting for real-estate owners. If geothermics and photovoltaic panels gain in popularity, other efficient and less expensive technologies have been developed during the last few years, such as solar collectors.


The solar collectors “in vacuum”, still relatively little known, are composed of a series of tubes made out of glass from approximately 5 to 15 centimetres in diameter. Each tube includes an absorber collecting the solar radiation as well as an exchanger allowing the transfer of thermal energy. They are usually installed on the roof of a building and they are used to preheat hot water.


Towards a greener and sustainable Quebec

 All the while benefiting from subsidies being able to reach up to 40% of the costs of modernization, the owners of buildings with residences in Quebec can optimize energy efficiency in their buildings and hope for an excessively prompt period of return on investment. Several measures indeed allow for an energy saving from 25% to 40% and a period of recovery of the investment from one to four years, and some even in less than one year. Refunded by energy saving, the starting investments thus generate a fast increase in profitability. In a period of economic crisis, management of exploitation costs takes a major importance. However, more than everything else, while lowering the ecological footprint of companies, these investments contribute to a greener and more sustainable Quebec. Without forgetting that the kilowatt-hours not consumed in Quebec can be exported, thus contributing to the prosperity of all.


Underlined sentences

“All the while benefiting from subsidies being able to reach up to 40% of the costs of modernization, owners of residential buildings can optimize the energy efficiency of their buildings and hope for a return on excessively fast investment.  

About the author

ing. Louis-Nicolas Hamer

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