Certified Energy Advisors specialize in conducting EnerGuide Home Evaluations, expedited by licensed service organizations that are accredited by NRCan. Advisors provide third party advice to homeowners interested in improving home energy efficiency, and reducing home energy use. As well, evaluations are conducted with builders who want to incorporate the EnerGuide Rating System when planning and designing new construction. Advisors ensure that homes labeled as “Energy Efficient” meet the standard requirements as defined by National Resources Canada.
Certified Energy Advisors must work alongside a licensed service organization that has been duly accredited by NRCan. Advisors have passed a number of qualifying exams, and are proficient with the EnerGuide Rating System. In the interest of the homeowner, energy advisors are registered with NRCan. They must demonstrate a knowledge and experience base in a number of areas:
- Energy efficiency renovation and retrofitting
- Residential building/construction materials
- Residential heating, cooling, and ventilation
- Building sciences (the “house as a system”)
- Residential building/construction practices
Energy advisors are focused on rating energy efficiency in a residential home. Amongst the many measurements, an inspection quantifies air leakage; insulation performance; air ventilation; and the efficiency of the HVAC system. Assessment results are rendered in a comprehensive report, which serves to define the energy efficiency of a home – it’s referred to as the Energy Rating.
From the homeowner’s point of view, the main aim of energy efficiency is to consume less energy from season to season. It means that heating and cooling costs will be reduced, and demand on the province’s energy resources will be lessened. Beginning in 2017, Energy Ratings will reflect the new EnerGuide Rating System, indicating the annual amount of home energy consumed. For many a homeowner, the amount of annual energy used may be a shock. Importantly, the new rating system will identify any upgrades/retrofits that will improve a home’s energy efficiency.
When a home energy evaluation has been completed, the report will highlight potential areas for improvement: heat loss; air leakage; R-Value performance; and moisture accumulation. Along with recommendations from the Energy Advisor, homeowners can decide on various retrofitting fixes that can be undertaken. The idea, of course, is to target energy-efficiency weaknesses and make every effort to reduce seasonal energy usage, while reducing heating and cooling costs.
For many homeowners in Ontario, 2017 signals an opportune time to make energy upgrades, and take advantage of various rebates and incentives offered by the province. Hiring an approved contractor, homeowners have a range of upgrades and retrofits that can be undertaken, all of which would contribute to energy savings throughout the year:
- Augmenting the home’s attic insulation
- Boosting R-Values throughout the home
- Air sealing and/or weatherizing the home
- Installing/improving basement insulation
- Retrofitting the exterior wall insulation
In the near term, most residential homes will require the EnerGuide Rating (and Label of Proof) in order to authenticate energy efficiency. In fact, this will be a requirement when selling a home so that prospective buyers can be assured of a home’s official energy performance.