eMERGE Guelph

17 Aberdeen St., Guelph

Imagine cutting your home energy use by 63%. Now imagine cutting your water bill in half on a monthly basis. This is exactly what the braendli’s did.

While Net Zero Houses can boast comparable energy reductions, what makes the Braendli house an example that demands attention is that it was built in 1913. This century old home is more efficient than almost all other homes in Guelph and produces 88% fewer greenhouse gasses – significantly reducing its impact on climate change. It’s also proof in practice that an old home doesn’t need to be drafty and cold, but instead can be comfortable, warm and save you money.


When buying and renovating their century old bungalow the Braendli’s were keen to ensure efficiency and comfort were top of mind. Significant attention was given to insulation and sealing – the biggest contributor to reducing energy needs. Adding to this, triple glazed window and doors were installed to reduce winter heat loss.

The homeowners also rely solely on electric heat for space and water heating. While the renovation was completed with baseboard heating, the Braendli’s recently installed an air source heat pump to help heat and cool their main living space – using 2 to 3 times less energy than the baseboards. If you think the energy reductions are significant now check back in a year when they realize additional energy savings through their heat pump.

What makes these homeowners even more impressive is that they use less than half the water of the typical Guelphite. The Braendli’s have installed many water saving devices from low-flow toilets, showerheads and aerators to a water wise dishwasher and washing machine. While using water saving equipment is important to achieve water savings, they have been able to raise the bar by making minor changes to household behaviours which has been integral to their success. In fact, the Braendli’s will soon be looking to certify their house as a Blue Built Home – a citywide certification for households that implement proven water saving technologies.

While average water use in Guelph compares well to provincial numbers, the Braendli’s use only 79 litres each per day. Their story is proof positive that changing behaviours and investing in technologies that save energy and water have a profound impact – substantially reducing utility costs and environmental impact.

You too can be like a Braendli too!