For many, Home Energy Labeling will be a completely new concept. It’s starting to gain exposure, but will make much greater gains in the coming years. Energy Labeling is essentially about rating the energy efficiency of a home, for today, and for the future. It means that a current homeowner can be assured of the home’s energy rating, and a future homebuyer can be confident that certain standards have been satisfied. Old home or new, the standardization will benefit everyone.
When assessing energy efficiency, not much is visible. What’s most important is what’s inside the drywall, under the floor, and throughout the attic. As such, a Home Energy Label will provide a reliable energy efficiency rating that will be valuable to the homeowner and to any future buyer. Today, more than ever, a home’s energy performance level is vital – and in a typical home, it means the difference between cost effective energy consumption and wasting energy dollars.
In Canada, EnerGuide provides a standardized rating number for energy efficiency, and a score that falls between 1 and 100. When professionally assessed and measured, the higher the score, the more energy efficient the house. And while homeowners might be aware of EnerGuide ratings for various home appliances – now, it’s all about the overall energy efficiency of the home. More importantly, every single point of improvement in rating means energy savings and cost savings.
Every energy efficiency rating highlights a number of dynamics in the home: it rates how well the home “envelope” is sealed; it evaluates insulation performance, and it measures the efficiency of the HVAC system. Every rating begins with an initial evaluation by a Certified Energy Advisor – this is under the umbrella of National Resources Canada (NRCan). In fact, NRCan also administers the Energy Star® Program, designed for houses that far exceed building code requirements.
The home energy assessment (through NRCan) does much more than provide an energy rating. It provides an energy efficiency report that measures insulation, air-tightness, HVAC performance, and seasonal utility consumption. Even more, the Energy Advisor will recommend upgrades and retrofits that could measurably improve the existing energy rating. And with this, it’s possible to estimate potential energy savings once the upgrades and/or retrofits have been completed.
Clearly, EnerGuide ratings are designed for the benefit of both existing homeowners and future buyers. For existing homeowners, energy-efficiency upgrades will make for long-term savings on home operating costs. For buyers, a highly rated home, with an energy label and efficiency report, is far more attractive than a home without. A highly rated home is known to sell faster and at a higher price – it simply means that energy upgrades are definitely a good return on investment.
In 2019, EnerGuide Energy Labeling will become mandatory on every home sold in the Province of Ontario. Energy efficient homes will therefore be in demand; less efficient homes will be less desirable. And homeowners can keep pace with these trends with various upgrading options:
- Air sealing retrofits and insulation upgrades throughout the entire building “envelope”
- Installations like HP+™ Wall Systems that provide superior control of air and moisture
- Rebate Programs (through Union Gas) to compensate for energy efficiency upgrades