The first step to reducing your home's reliance on energy is reducing consumption, the second is to look at passive and renewable energy sources. This is the first course in the residential energy retrofit series. The focus will be on energy conservation in existing homes and will primarily focus on single family houses and townhouses. This course starts by presenting an overview of how homes use energy, then outlines how you can track your energy consumption. A history of local construction practices over the decades will be provided. The “house as a system” concept will be explained with examples. The course will also evaluate retrofit strategies as a means to reduce energy consumption and costs. Behavioural change as a conservation strategy is introduced. The rationale for conservation within homes is explored as the first step towards renewable energy retrofits. Students will examine building envelope components such as insulation, windows and air tightness, as well as mechanical components including heating systems, domestic hot water heating and ventilation. Both passive and active energy conservation strategies will be discussed. Tips and suggestions for effective energy efficient retrofit project management will be provided.