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What Is The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Initiative?

The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative promotes energy efficiency guidelines that enable new homes to be more energy efficient than those built to minimum provincial building codes. The increased efficiency of these homes translates into reduced energy costs for homeowners.

The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative is currently available in many regions across Canada and is delivered in the field by a network of regional service organizations. If you want to buy an ENERGY STAR qualified new home, contact a service organization in your area to schedule an evaluation of your building plans.

For energy-efficient home building in other provinces, consult your EnerGuide service organization.

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What Is an ENERGY STAR® Qualified Home?

An ENERGY STAR® qualified home is a home that has been built by a licensed ENERGY STAR® for New Homes builder who incorporates energy efficient features into the home so that it can meet the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes technical specifications.

A sampling of ENERGY STAR® qualified new homes, are evaluated on-site by an independent (not employed by the builder) energy advisor. ENERGY STAR® for New Homes energy advisors are recruited trained and certified by a licensed ENERGY STAR® for New Homes service organization. As homes are built, an energy advisor verifies that they have been built to ENERGY STAR® for New Homes technical specifications. After the verification process is complete, the energy advisor informs their service organization and the service organization issues an ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label and certificate for the house. The label is usually placed on the home’s electrical panel.

Potential homebuyers will be amazed to learn how much less they will have to spend for heating, cooling and hydro in energy-efficient homes.

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What's involved?

Typical energy efficiency measures for these new homes include:

  • insulation upgrades
  • higher-performance windows
  • better draft proofing
  • more efficient heating, hot water and air conditioning systems
  • ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances (if supplied by the builder)

The benefits to the new homeowner are:

  • lower energy bills
  • improved comfort
  • lower impact on the environment
  • higher resale value

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Features of an ENERGY STAR® Qualified Home

Some of the features that builders typically incorporate into ENERGY STAR® qualified new homes include

Heating and cooling systems – Energy efficient furnaces, heat pumps, thermostats and fireplaces are usually qualified. When a furnace is used, the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating (AFUE) of furnaces must comply with rigorous Canadian minimum efficiency requirements. As a result, you use less fuel and save money.

Windows, patio doors and skylights – Windows, glass doors and skylights comply with Canada's requirements for ENERGY STAR® qualified windows. This feature alone could cut more than 10 percent off your energy costs.

Walls and ceilings – There is often more insulation in the ceilings and walls of an ENERGY STAR® qualified home than is required by building codes. This reduces heat loss, puts less strain on your heating and cooling systems and keeps your house more comfortable.

There are additional homeowner savings if builders supply ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances and lighting.

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Benefits of Owning an ENERGY STAR® Qualified Home

ENERGY STAR® qualified new homes are built to strict technical specifications by ENERGY STAR® for New Homes builders and undergo random quality assurance audits during construction.

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Lower cost

You will be pleased to see the monthly energy savings in an ENERGY STAR® qualified new home. If you pay a mortgage, these savings often save the homeowner more money each month on utility bills then the added monthly mortgage costs.

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Improved air quality = health and comfort.

Air movement in your house in winter, causes drafts that make you feel uncomfortable. With an ENERGY STAR® qualified home you get fewer drafts than conventional homes.

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Less energy expended = fewer pollutants.

Homes account for 17 percent of all energy use in Canada. As ENERGY STAR® qualified homes are more energy-efficient than standard code built houses, they can help reduce air pollution and lessen other environmental problems, such as climate change.


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ENERGY STAR® and the environment

Every time we use energy from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, we produce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. An ENERGY STAR® qualified new home reduces GHG emissions by approximately three tons per year when compared to similar homes that are built to minimum building code requirements.

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The ENERGY STAR® name and the ENERGY STAR® symbol are registered trademarks of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are used with permission.