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Personal: Residential

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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General
EnerGuide Rating System
R-2000
ENERGY STAR for New Homes


General

What is the difference between the EnerGuide Rating System, R-2000 Standard, and regional initiatives?
Can a home be labelled under more than one NRCan-managed housing initiative?
What is considered a “new” home?
What is a Service Organization?
How do I find a builder, energy advisor, R-2000 Service Provider, or service organization in my area that is participating in the EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes, and/or R-2000 Standard in my area?
Are there any financial incentives available for new home owners?
What is HOT2000 Software?

What is the difference between the EnerGuide Rating System, R-2000 Standard, and regional initiatives?

The EnerGuide Rating System is a national initiative through which builders work with energy advisors to choose energy efficiency upgrades to their house plans before the house is built. The system enables builders and new home buyers to compare and evaluate upgrades that they may wish to include in their new homes.

The R-2000 Standard is a national initiative that outlines requirements to be build environmentally friendly homes. It includes training and certification for each participating homebuilder, as well as a quality assurance evaluation, testing, and certification of each house. R-2000 Standard homes are about 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional new homes and must achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of 80 on the EnerGuide rating scale.

Beyond the R-2000 Standard and EnerGuide Rating System, there are many regional initiatives offered across Canada. These options provide builders with other programs that they can participate in and promote energy efficient new homes. Each of these regional initiatives encourages energy efficient home building in ways that are tailored to the new housing market in their region.

Can a home be labelled under more than one initiative?

Yes. A home can be labelled under more than one initiative if the homebuilder has followed the requirements of each of the programs and if the initiatives are available in that region. For example, R-2000 certified homes an also obtain an EnerGuide rating label.

What is considered a “new” home?

New home buyers or builders can begin participating in NRCan-managed new housing program such as the R-2000 Standard as their house plans are being drafted. Although the intent of NRCan-managed new housing programs is to encourage builders to include energy efficiency upgrades during the construction planning phase, houses can be labelled through the R-2000 Standard, EnerGuide Rating System, and/or ENERGY STAR for New Homes program up to six months after the builder has transferred possession of the house to the first homeowner. When a home is built by the owner, it is considered “new” up to six months following the certificate of completion by the local inspector.

What is a Service Organization?

A service organization is any organization or person who is licensed through Natural Resources Canada and whose role is to implement and deliver the EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes and/or R-2000 Standard.

How do I find a builder, energy advisor, R-2000 Service Provider, or service organization in my area that is participating in the EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes, and/or R-2000 Standard in my area?

Natural Resources Canada works with a network of service organizations across Canada to promote and deliver NRCan-managed new housing programs such as the EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes and R-2000 Standard. These service organizations are responsible for organizing and hosting training workshops and overseeing the certification of energy advisors, builders and other professionals.

Contact your local Service Organization for more details:

www2.nrcan.gc.ca/oee/nh-mn/f-t/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.ssf&language=eng

Are there any incentives for “new” home owners?

Presently, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) does not directly offer incentives to new home buyers or new home builders through the R-2000 Standard, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes, or the EnerGuide Rating System for newly built homes.

The Federal Government does offer a GST rebate on new home construction.

I invite you to visit the following web site to see if you qualify:

www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gp/rc4028/README.html

NRCan-managed new housing programs, coupled with regional programs, form the basis for many provincial and utility incentives and grants that are available to encourage energy efficiency in new home construction throughout the country.

The following website provides a list of regional incentives and grants:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/corporate/incentives.cfm.

Please visit this link and contact the responsible organization for application requirements if there are options that you may wish to pursue.

The Government of Canada does provide incentives to owners of existing dwellings through the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program. The overall environmental impact of retrofitting older housing stock is significantly higher than that offered by new construction, as there are more then eight million existing low-rise dwellings in Canada that can be improved by an average of 30 percent, bringing them more in line with newly-built homes.

What is HOT2000 Software?

NRCan’s HOT2000 software is used by trained and certified R-2000 Plan Evaluators, and EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR certified energy advisors. The HOT2000 software helps these professionals to estimate how much energy each home will use.

Here’s how it works:

  1. First, the evaluator enters the home's specifications into the HOT2000 program. This includes the home's dimensions and the energy performance characteristics of key components, such as windows, wall assemblies, roof type, and attic insulation. Specifications on the heating, cooling and ventilation system types and efficiencies are also entered.
  2. Next, the evaluator enters the home's location and site orientation. HOT2000 has climatic data for all areas of Canada. It will also calculate the amount of solar heat gain or loss, based on the type of windows and the amount of direct sunlight they will receive.
  3. Finally, HOT2000 calculates how much energy the home as modeled, will use in a year operating under typical conditions.

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EnerGuide Rating System

What is the EnerGuide Rating System and how can I use it on my new home?
Why use the EnerGuide Rating System?
What is the Blower Door Test?
What are the steps to run the Blower Door test?
What is the EnerGuide Rating Label?
I just moved into my new house and want to have it rated. Is it too late to have this done?
Who are the building professionals involved with the EnerGuide Rating System?
What types of recommendations for upgrades to house plans do energy advisors make?
What does a sample Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report look like?
How can I obtain a copy of the “EnerGuide Rating System: Administrative and Technical Procedures”?
What is the difference between an EnerGuide Rating System evaluation and a home inspection?
Where can I find the EnerGuide Rating System’s Code of Ethics?

What is the EnerGuide Rating System and how can I use it on my new home?

The EnerGuide Rating System is a system that estimates the annual energy usage of a new house based on house plans prior to construction. It helps new home buyers to choose which upgrades to invest in when upgrades are offered by their builder. Similarly, it helps builders understand how to increase the energy performance of their houses and to choose which upgrades they wish to offer their customers.

To find out more:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/upgrade-packages/energuide-service.cfm

Why use the EnerGuide Rating System?

After reviewing your house plans, an expert EnerGuide advisor can make energy saving upgrade recommendations. By implementing EnerGuide advice, you’ll save energy and money. Much of the energy we use in Canada is produced from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Also, the energy you save heating your home could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Blower Door Test

What is the Blower Door Test?

Energy advisors use “blower door” test equipment to measure your home's rate of air leakage. The blower door is a variable-speed fan mounted on an adjustable panel that can fit into an exterior door opening of your home.

As part of the EnerGuide Rating Service, the blower door test is performed after the house has been built so that the “as built” results of the test are incorporated into the rating and the new house label.

What are the steps to run the Blower Door test?

  1. When the fan is turned on, the pressure inside your home is gradually reduced to allow outside air to flow into the house through unsealed openings or cracks in the house structure.
  2. Pressure gauges connected to the fan measure the rate of airflow required to keep your home at a constant pressure so that the advisor can calculate your home's resistance to air infiltration.
  3. The blower door test equipment then calculates the air leakage rate of the home. The results of the test are considered in your home's energy efficiency rating. Because airtight homes are energy efficient, a house that has little air leakage will result in a higher rating than a home that has a lot of air leakage.
EnerGuide Rating Label

What is the EnerGuide Rating Label?

The EnerGuide rating label shows useful information about your home's estimated annual energy use and provides you with a record of the name and address of your EnerGuide energy advisor. This label can be displayed on your home's electrical box. The label gives you an estimate of the electricity, natural gas or oil that you can expect to consume each year. Please be advised that the energy consumption estimates are just that, estimates. The estimate produced 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 also the usage rates for hot water, lighting and appliances.

I just moved into my new house and want to have my home rated is it too late to have this done?

The goal of the EnerGuide Rating System is to increase the energy efficiency of low-rise housing in Canada. For a new house, this is ideally done at the design stage, where the energy advisor, builder and homeowner determine the energy efficient upgrades that will be included during the house construction. Now that the house is constructed, fewer options for energy efficient upgrades exist.

To see if your house can be labelled under the New or Existing Houses ecoENERGY program please contact your local Service Organization.

www2.nrcan.gc.ca/oee/nh-mn/f-t/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.ssf&language=eng

Who are the building professionals involved with the EnerGuide Rating System?

EnerGuide Rating System Energy Advisors bring experience from various building professions in fields such as:

  • Building engineers
  • Architects
  • Home inspectors
  • Professionals who are experienced in home building and renovation

What types of recommendations for upgrades to house plans do Energy Advisors make?

The can make recommendations in the following areas:

  • Air leaks and sealing the proposed structure’s resistance to heat loss.
  • The energy efficiency of building components such as windows and doors.
  • Passive solar heat gain and house orientation.
  • Air-exchange systems, including exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.

What does a sample Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report look like?

The Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report is prepared by an energy advisor after the final on-site evaluation of the home is completed.

This report provides the following details:

  • The home’s rating and an explanation of the rating system.
  • A breakdown of the estimated annual energy used for space heating, lighting and appliances.
  • The estimated annual energy usage of the home for electricity, gas and/or oil for a typical family of four, assuming standard heating and cooling, lighting and appliance, and hot water usage.
  • Recommendations for maintaining the efficiency of the home over time.

For a sample of the report visit:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/upgrade-packages/sample-report.cfm

How can I obtain a copy of the “EnerGuide Rating System: Administrative and Technical Procedures”?

To download the most recent copy of the EnerGuide Rating System Administration and Technical Procedures document for your reference please visit the following link:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/pdf/EGNH-Admin-Tech-Procedures-2005.pdf

What is the difference between an EnerGuide Rating System evaluation and a home inspection?

While an EnerGuide evaluation does share certain traits with a standard home inspection, each provide a very unique type of home assessment.

A home inspection is generally arranged to assess homes after buyers have made an offer to purchase a property or before closing the deal. Once the home has been inspected, homeowners receive a written report or checklist of all findings.

Home inspectors check:

  • The exterior
  • Foundation
  • Basement and above-ground structure for defects
  • The plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating and ventilation and air-conditioning systems for mechanical problems

An EnerGuide evaluation focuses on how a house can be improved in order to reduce energy costs and increase comfort and energy performance. The EnerGuide evaluation begins before your first visit to your builder’s model home. Builders working with the program have their house plans evaluated by an EnerGuide rating service energy advisor. They then work the advisor to develop energy upgrade packages that have money-saving features you may want to include in your new home. An EnerGuide evaluation does not replace a house inspection.

Where can I find the EnerGuide Rating System Code of Ethics?

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/business/builders-renovators-trades/code-ethics.cfm

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R-2000

What is the R-2000 Initiative?
What is the R-2000 Standard?
What is an R-2000 demonstration home?
What are the benefits of building an R-2000 home?

What is the R-2000 Initiative?

Developed in partnership with Canada’s residential construction industry, R-2000 is an initiative that is managed by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency. Its aim is to promote the use of cost-effective energy-efficient building practices and technologies.

It is composed of the following essential components:

  • Builder training and certification;
  • Management and updating of the R-2000 Standard and the HOT2000 software;
  • Research and technical support for service organization in energy-efficient construction materials and practices, and software issues;
  • Quality assurance process for R-2000 personnel and R-2000 houses;
  • A mechanism to transfer and collect R-2000 data files;
  • A process to certify R-2000 houses is fully documented in the R-2000 Procedures Manual as updated on a regular basis.

What is the R-2000 Standard?

The R-2000 Standard includes requirements related to energy efficiency, indoor air quality and the use of environmentally responsible products and materials. It does not, however, specify exactly how a house must be built. Rather, the R-2000 Standard sets criteria for how an R-2000 home must perform. This leaves the designer and builder free to choose the most effective and economical way to build it.

For more detailed information regarding the R-2000 Standard please visit:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/standard/standard.cfm

What is an R-2000 Demonstration Home?

An R-2000 Demonstration Home is the first home that an R-2000 builder builds to the R-2000 Standard. The house must be evaluated by a licensed R-2000 Plan Evaluator to confirm that it has been designed to meet its performance specifications. The house must be registered with an R-2000 service organization and entered into NRCan’s national R-2000 database. After construction, the house must be inspected and air-tested to confirm whether it meets the R-2000 Standard. If the house meets all R-2000 requirements, it is certified as an R-2000 demonstration home.

What are the benefits of building an R-2000 home?

  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Health
  • Peace of Mind
  • Energy Savings
  • State of the art technology
  • Protecting our environment

For more information on the benefits of building an R-2000 certified home please visit:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/benefits.cfm

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ENERGY STAR® for New Homes

What is the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative?
Where in Canada is the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative available?
What is an ENERGY STAR® qualified new home?
What is an ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Energy Advisor?
Where can I find ENERGY STAR qualified products, appliances and equipment?
I am a builder, and I would like to purchase ENERGY STAR Qualified Products and Equipment. Where do I find the procurement purchasing toolkit?

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 approximately 25 percent more energy efficient than those built to minimum provincial building codes. The increased efficiency of these homes translates into reduced energy costs for homeowners. This initiative is also designed to encourage energy-efficient practices that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By identifying and promoting energy-saving products, the initiative helps protect the environment and lowers energy bills at the same time.

Where in Canada is the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Initiative available?

ENERGY STAR® for New Homes is currently available only in Ontario and Saskatchewan and is delivered in the field by a network of Service Organizations. If you are interested in buying an ENERGY STAR qualified new home, contact a Service Organization in your area to schedule an evaluation of your building plans.

What is an ENERGY STAR® Qualified Home?

An ENERGY STAR qualified new 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 it can meet the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes technical specifications. To find out more:

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/new-homes-initiative.cfm

What is an ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Energy Advisor?

A certified energy advisor has been trained by a licensed service organization to use modeling software and perform site inspections to advise you on your home’s energy use. All energy advisors know how house components can work together to achieve a superior level of energy efficiency and indoor comfort. This includes the ability to assess how a home will use energy and which areas may need improving. Contact your local Service Organization to find out more:

www2.nrcan.gc.ca/oee/nh-mn/f-t/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.ssf&language=eng

Where can I find ENERGY STAR Qualified products, appliances, and equipment?

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/business/manufacturers/qualified-products.cfm

I am a builder and I would like to purchase ENERGY STAR Qualified Products and Equipment. Where do I find the procurement purchasing toolkit?

www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/business/energystar/procurement/toolkit.cfm

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