ENERGY STAR is an internationally recognized brand and a trusted symbol for identifying energy-efficient products (e.g. kitchen appliances, televisions, etc.) and new homes.
In little more than a decade, the blue ENERGY STAR symbol has become a consumer icon in Canada and has come to represent the standard of premium energy efficiency in many product categories. Since 2005, energy-efficient new homes can also be ENERGY STAR qualified.
Its guiding star is well known and trusted by Canadians as the mark of high energy efficiency performance.
How does the EnerGuide Rating System factor into ENERGY STAR?
The EnerGuide Rating System is Natural Resources Canada’s well-established rating tool, which is used for measuring energy efficiency in homes. An ENERGY STAR builder may utilize the EnerGuide Rating System to ensure your home meets an energy efficiency target. However, not all ENERGY STAR homes get an EnerGuide rating as builders have the option of choosing a building options package that does not require an EnerGuide rating. The building options package ensures that a certain level of energy performance is achieved.
If your home has undergone an EnerGuide evaluation, your home’s electrical panel will have an EnerGuide label in addition to the ENERGY STAR label.
What is an ENERGY STAR® New Home
An ENERGY STAR® qualified new home is on average 20 percent more energy efficient than a home built to code. These homes present a practical choice for homeowners looking for a new home that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
What sets an ENERGY STAR home apart?
It’s really the energy savings of an ENERGY STAR home that separate it from other homes on the market. Typical features of an ENERGY STAR home include:
- Efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy, reduce indoor humidity and improve the overall comfort of your home.
- High-performance ENERGY STAR windows, patio doors, and skylights keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
- Walls and ceilings insulated beyond what is required by the building code.
- A variety of ENERGY STAR products which use less electricity by meeting strict technical specifications.
- A heat or energy recovery ventilation system (HRV or ERV) ensures your home has controlled ventilation.
- Every ENERGY STAR home is:
- Constructed by trained builders who are licensed by the Government of Canada.
- Awarded an ENERGY STAR label approved by the Government of Canada.
- Issued a certificate by the Government of Canada.
ENERGY STAR certificate and label
Every ENERGY STAR homeowner will receive NRCan’s ENERGY STAR certificate and label. The certificate is given to the homeowner by the builder and the label is placed on the electrical panel.
ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard
The ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard was developed by the Government of Canada and Canada’s home building professionals. Builders can meet the standard by meeting an energy performance target or build based on predetermined conditions.
Why choose an ENERGY STAR® New Home
In order to earn the trusted ENERGY STAR label, a home must be built by an ENERGY STAR-qualified builder and meet technical specifications for energy efficiency developed by the Government of Canada.
So, very much like with an ENERGY STAR-qualified stove or dishwasher, you can be sure you are getting an energy-efficient new home by choosing one with the government-backed ENERGY STAR label.
Every ENERGY STAR home must meet mandatory requirements for energy savings, insulation and airtightness, which makes your home more energy efficient and more comfortable to live in.
ENERGY STAR-qualified homes built to the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard are on average 20 percent more energy efficient than those built to the building code. This translates into less energy needed to operate your home and savings on your utility bills.
The energy efficiency measures can improve your living environment by providing better protection against cold, heat, noise, and drafts.
Today, 17 percent of the energy consumed in Canada is used to operate our homes. Improved energy efficiency associated with ENERGY STAR-qualified homes means reduced energy demand for your home. 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. By choosing an ENERGY STAR home, you are making an environmental choice that will result in producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions due to lower energy demand.
Buy or Build an ENERGY STAR® Home
The first step for homeowners interested in buying or building a new ENERGY STAR home is to contact an NRCan-licensed ENERGY STAR builder.
ENERGY STAR licensed builders
Every ENERGY STAR home is built by a licensed ENERGY STAR builder and must meet the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard. To earn the ENERGY STAR designation, your builder invests in training and then keeps up-to-date through additional courses.
If you are looking to buy an ENERGY STAR home, look for the mark and symbol when you are shopping around. Ensure your builder is ENERGY STAR-licensed by Natural Resources Canada. Only homes built by NRCan-licensed builders can be ENERGY STAR qualified. Ask your builder what steps they are taking to make their homes energy efficient and if independent, licensed professionals inspect the homes. To view more useful questions to ask your builder, look for the brochure entitled 10 Questions to Ask your Builder
How do I know my home meets the ENERGY STAR standard?
A home is deemed ENERGY STAR-qualified once it meets the standard. As the homeowner, you will be given a certificate by the Government of Canada and your home is awarded the ENERGY STAR label.
If you suspect that your home is an ENERGY STAR home but you have no certificate or label on your electrical panel, please contact your builder.
Will an ENERGY STAR home cost more?
Builders may choose to include the added cost of building to ENERGY STAR in their base model or decide to provide it as an upgrade to homebuyers.
If you are building your home to meet ENERGY STAR, there will reasonably be some added costs because of the extra features to meet the standard. However, you will receive utility savings from the moment you move in, and over the long run, those savings pay for your investment.
What else can I do to improve my energy use?
To keep your ENERGY STAR-qualified home performing at its best:
• Use ENERGY STAR products
• Wash and rinse full loads of laundry in cold water
• Purchase a front-loading washing machine which uses less energy and water
• Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and air dry
• Schedule annual maintenance on your furnace and HRV and ERV to ensure their peak efficiency
• Keep return air grills or heating vents clear of furniture
• Unplug small appliances or equipment not in use, or use power bars or timers to turn them all off at once, or for certain time periods