EnerGuide Homes: Part 3 of the EnerGuide Series

Welcome to part three of our EnerGuide series!

Part one explained what EnerGuide was and why it was important to the average consumer. Part two explained how to properly read an EnerGuide label. Today we will talk about some of the whole home energy efficiency standards that are tied in with EnerGuide and Natural Resources Canada.

Natural Resources Canada, the group responsible for the EnerGuide labels, is constantly working toward a cleaner, more efficient and environmentally friendly Canada. They are currently striving to align Canada and the United States’ energy standards which will help regulate both energy requirements and overall efficiency in North America.

One of the ways Natural Resources Canada is doing this is by branching out with the EnerGuide name by creating EnerGuide labels for new homes. In this program, EnerGuide works with home builders (when requested) to create a home built to optimize efficiency. A consultant helps to revamp building plans to create a home that is not only energy efficient but more environmentally sound than its “built to spec[ification]” counterparts.

These houses are graded on a 0-100 scale. Natural Resources Canada explains how the rating system works:

A rating of 0 represents a home with major air leakage, no insulation and extremely high energy consumption.

A rating of 100 represents a house that is airtight, well insulated, sufficiently ventilated and requires no purchased energy on an annual basis.

Once the house is built with all of the included efficiency modifications, a label is placed on the home’s fuse box so that it can be easily seen. A full report is also given to the home owner to show, in detail, how these changes to their new home will benefit both the environment and their wallet.

When you buy an EnerGuide home you know you are buying a home that has been meticulously vetted to make sure that it is as efficient as possible – but what about people who aren’t building their new home? Are they able to receive an EnerGuide rating? It depends on the home, really. The easiest way to find out is to get in touch with your local service organization. The process is different as there is a larger limit on things that can be done to a house that is already standing, but it can give you some great tips on how to optimize what you already have. For more information contact your local service organization (a list can be found here).

If you don’t qualify for an EnerGuide rating, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make your home as efficient as possible. Talk to a contractor about energy efficient home upgrades. Swap out old appliances and heating/cooling units to increase efficiency. Seal up drafts in your home. All of these things will help make your home more efficient and help your pocketbook. Union Gas offers renovation rebates to people retrofitting their home. As well, any new energy rebates can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website.

If you have any questions about EnerGuide, have a topic you would like covered in this series or have any HVAC related questions, please contact us through our website, by phone, on Twitter or through our Facebook page.

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