May 2011

Welcome to the National Association of Green Agents and Broker's May newsletter

Green Real Estate News

Promoting a property in today's market can include much more than posting a sign and putting the home's information on MLS, and has the benefit of being green! While signs are still important, smart REALTORS are looking at new forms of social media to promote their listings. Consider using Twitter to disseminate information on a property or on current market activity, or establish a blog that can be used instead of a mailed newsletter. Your past, current and future clients will appreciate reading your insights on the market as long as you keep it relevant, current and interesting., or are great places to start.

Government News

The federal election has concluded with a Conservative majority; however there are some surprising results on May 2nd with the NDP winning the position of the official Opposition, the decline in the number of seats occupied by Liberals and the Green Party gaining a seat in the House. With green issues occupying a key position in all three of these parties' platforms, it will be interesting to see what happens once Parliament is back in session.

New Products

Looking for a green gift for Mother's or Father's Day? Perhaps you'd like to give your clients a green gift for their new homes. Whatever the occasion, has a gift gallery for you. Check out their Green Gift Guides at for some ideas on how to give your clients or loved ones the gift of green!

Association News

The Association is pleased to announce that there will be another opportunity for members to hear about the Green Energy Act and its impact on real estate through a webinar with our Executive Director, Elden Freeman. Please keep an eye on our website for more information as to how to register for this FREE webinar.


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From the Desk of Elden Freeman B.A., M.E.S. AGB(r), Executive Director
Help clients save by Going Green

As a real estate professional, it behooves you to serve your clients well by knowing a thing or two about the environmental shape of that property you're showing. The average house consumes about $2,000 per year in energy costs. Help your clients define what they'll need to spend to make their purchase a happy, efficient and affordable one. So let's start our tour on how to green your home:

  • Basement or Utility Room: If the furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it. Newer models are 90 per cent or more efficient compared to older ones, which may be as low as 60 per cent or less. Turn down the heat on your water temperature and be sure to maintain your heating and cooling systems. Make sure water lines are insulated.

  • Kitchen: Electrical appliances use a whopping 30 per cent of energy in a typical home with refrigeration taking up about eight per cent of that. New appliances are up to three times more efficient than their older counterparts. Be sure to unplug secondary fridges and freezers and only run the dishwasher when it's full.

  • Family Room: Because heating and cooling represent about 45 per cent of total energy costs use a programmable thermostat so you can set it cooler in winter and warmer in summer. Be sure to close the damper on your fireplace and unplug electronics when they're not in use.

  • Bedroom: Bedrooms use up to about 11 per cent of a home's lighting consumption. Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights. Remember to turn off lights when leaving the room. Install dimmer switches to save on energy costs where you can't use CFLs.

  • Bathroom: The most obvious way to save energy in the bathroom is to use less water, especially hot water. Showers and baths used over 50 per cent of a house's water consumption while toilets use 20 to 30 per cent. Install low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads. Take shorter, cooler showers.

  • Roof: Up to one-third of the heat produced in a house is lost through the roof, walls and ceiling. Add insulation to hike R-values to 32 or more. Use ceiling fans to stay cool in summer and install a solar hot water system.

  • Windows and Doors: While highly efficient, new windows and doors aren't always affordable. As an alternative, caulk and weather strip leaky windows and doors. Consider adding Low-E glazing to storm windows.

  • Landscaping: Smaller lawns mean less maintenance and less watering. To reduce the effects of harsh winter winds, plant a windbreak along the windward side of the house. Deciduous trees planted along the south side help with cooling.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, homes also have different energy features based on the era in which they were built. Pre-World War II homes, for instance, benefit big-time from energy-saving improvements as many of the techniques and construction materials used in them are now obsolete. Split-level homes are prone to air leakage problems especially where the second floor meets the attic of the lower section or where the crawl space meets the basement. Whereas bungalows built in the 1960s and 1970s leak air at the ceiling and the header area.

Being in a position to take the energy pulse of a property will put you ahead of your colleagues. Clients will appreciate your expertise and you'll take pride knowing that you've done the right thing for our environment by taking the high road.


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