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A New House That Saves

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“Moving into your new home should be the experience of a lifetime. The ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses program helps that experience to be the best it can be.

That's why Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan's) Office of Energy Efficiency developed the EnerGuide rating service to provide independent expert advice on energy-efficient home construction to homebuilders and new home buyers in support of the federal ecoACTION initiative.”

How does an energy evaluation help me get a more efficient house?

The EnerGuide evaluation begins before your first visit to your builder's model home. Builders offering the EnerGuide rating service have their house plans evaluated by a certified energy advisor. They then work with the advisor to develop energy upgrade packages that have money-saving features you will want to include in your new home.

Together, they use NRCan's computer software to model different options, looking for cost-effective measures that will improve your comfort and lower your energy bills. They focus on ways to improve the energy efficiency of

  • heating and ventilation equipment, such as the furnace
  • the building envelope, such as windows and insulation levels in the attic, walls and basement

Builders will offer you options, but you make the final choice about what you would like to include in your home.

Many of the most valuable energy improvements are easier and cheaper to install while a home is being built. Any investment in energy efficiency improvements you make at the building stage will start to pay you back in lower energy bills the day you move in.

How does the EnerGuide rating service help me get value for money?

After your new home has been built, the energy advisor returns to conduct a walk-through tour of the house to confirm that the energy efficiency upgrades have been incorporated and to perform a mechanical air-leakage test on the finished house.

An energy efficient home is

  • less expensive to operate
  • more comfortable to live in
  • more environmentally friendly

This final independent evaluation is for you, the homeowner. It provides you with confirmation of your EnerGuide rating – a number, or numerical range, that your builder committed to when you decided to include energy upgrades. The final rating shows that your builder has met that commitment.

The energy advisor provides your builder with a label indicating your home's energy rating. It is an official record of your home's energy performance. You may also receive an EnerGuide rating system homeowner's report outlining the home's energy rating and energy efficiency features.

What does the EnerGuide rating label tell me?

Anyone can claim that a house is energy efficient, but an EnerGuide rating label proves how efficient it is.

The label gives you an estimate of the electricity, natural gas or oil that you can expect to consume each year. But remember that energy consumption estimates are just that – estimates. The estimate for your home is based on a number of standard assumptions, such as a family of four living in the home and specific thermostat settings and usage rates for hot water, lighting and appliances.

A one-point improvement on the EnerGuide rating scale typically reduces your home's energy consumption by 3 to 5 percent. Remember to ask about what options are available to you.

Are there any other benefits to having an EnerGuide rating?

Homeowners are aware of high energy prices and are beginning to value evidence of energy efficiency. The EnerGuide rating label gives you that evidence. And when you are ready to move on, you will be selling a home with proven efficiency, with a rating backed by the Government of Canada.

By choosing energy efficiency options, you will also be making a choice to help protect our environment. By using less energy, you reduce the greenhouse gas emissions your home produces that contribute to climate change.

Who may I contact?

For more information on the EnerGuide rating service, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency's Web site at newhomes.gc.ca.

To order more publications, call 1-800-387-2000 toll-free.

To learn more about the EnerGuide rating label, ask for NRCan's fact sheet Adding Up the Savings for Your New Home.


Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency
Leading Canadians to Energy Efficiency at Home, at Work and on the Road.