When we bought the 2 bedroom unit in Vermont , we did know that there is no insulation, neither in the roof nor under the floor. We figured, it would be quite cold inside. But
when it got down to 5 degrees and lower, we knew that we really have to renovate, rather sooner than later.

According to First Rate 5 energy rating program, the house get’s 0.8 stars.  Keep in mind the mandatory rating for new dwellings is 5 stars at the moment. From May 2010 on it will be increased to a 6 star minimum. What does the 0.8 stars?
The energy use is 809.6 MJ/m². The floor area of 96m² brings us to a energy usage per year of 77,721 MJ , which will lead to energy bills of over $4,300, just for one year.

Why does the house perform so badly?

There are several reasons.

– the walls are build as brick veneer, without insulation
(cold or hot air can ‘travel’ easily through the walls)

– single glazing aluminum windows
(the windows perform extremely bad, single glazing aluminum windows are the worst case scenario)

– wall and ceiling vents

– unsealed exhaust fans

– windows and doors aren’t weather-stripped

– roof/ceiling has no insulation

– no air-lock

So, we have a long way to go to make the house more energy efficient. Let’s get started.