Home Energy Rating & Disclosure
Ontario Climate Change Action Plan
Commonly referred to as CCAP, Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan is a five-year campaign targeted at three main priorities:
- Fighting The Negatives Of Climate Change
- Amply Reducing Greenhouse Gas Pollution
- Transitioning To A Low-Carbon Economy
For homeowners who plan to buy or sell a residential home in the next few years, the CCAP will have a definite affect. The best part is that both seller and buyer will benefit from the provisions of CCAP. One provision, beginning in 2019, is that all single-family homes must expedite an energy audit when being listed for sale. The energy audit will render an energy rating, which will be contained in the legal real estate listing. Clearly, a good energy rating will be of benefit to the seller, and of course, the buyer.
Home Energy Rating and Disclosure
The HER&D Program is designed to help prospective homebuyers compare homes based on their energy consumption. In this way, a homebuyer will know about the heating and cooling expenses prior to moving in. A home seller will be entitled to an energy audit for free, and will decide which retrofit incentive program will make their home more energy efficient - an excellent selling feature for the prospective buyer. In fact, rebate incentive programs are available, even if selling is not imminent.
Expediting a Certified Energy Audit
A certified Energy Advisor, accredited by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), performs a residential energy audit. To ensure accuracy and authenticity, only a fully trained Energy Advisor is qualified to expedite the energy audit. Using various pieces of equipment, a home’s energy efficiency is rated, based on air leakage; insulation performance; air ventilation; and efficiency of the HVAC system. The final results – in other words, the energy rating – are provided in an easy-to-understand format.
All about the Energy Rating System
Having a home energy rating is important - it defines the amount of energy that a home is consuming. And a home that uses less energy is good for the homeowner. Simply put, there are savings on heating and cooling, and there’s less demand on energy resources. Beginning in 2017, energy ratings will be based on the EnerGuide Rating System. A home’s rating will show the annual amount of energy consumption. In many cases, homeowners will actually be surprised at their annual usage.
The EnerGuide Rating System will also pinpoint areas of the home where air leakage and insulation performance may be compromising energy consumption. This is valuable for the homeowner, as it will highlight the various upgrades and retrofits that can be made to improve energy efficiency. In fact, homeowners can undertake a number of retrofits that qualify for rebates and/or grants from the provincial government. Clearly, every improvement will enhance the official energy rating.
HER&D - Important Facts and Figures
Home energy audits will be paid for through the provincial government’s Green Investment Fund.
Some funds from the Green Investment Fund will be allocated for energy upgrades and retrofits.
Retrofit rebates are already available through Union Gas, whether a home is being sold or not.
Energy Star Certification (and products) will be a complement to the EnerGuide Rating System.
HER&D supports home renovations that focus on upgrades and retrofits for energy efficiency.
Home Energy Advisors are certified by NRCan, and are properly trained to perform energy audits.
The EnerGuide Rating System accurately assesses energy performance, and offers solution options.
With rebates and incentives, home improvements can be made to save money on heating/cooling.
Future Environmental Sustainability
Homeowners who take advantage of the Green Investment Fund are making a personal impact on future environmental sustainability. Whether a home will be going on the market for sale or not, energy retrofitting has a positive effect on the environment - as well as the bank account. Determining flaws in home energy efficiency, and resolving those flaws, will make for more cost-effective operation of the home. And in the long run, there will be significant benefits to the environment.
Homeowners Personal Action Plan
Now is the ideal time to take advantage of available rebate offerings from the province. Once qualified, homeowners are required to deal with professional contractors who are accredited by the province. Before any work commences, a preliminary EnerGuide Energy Audit must be performed (funded by the Green Investment Fund). This will identify areas of the home that could be improved.
For this part of the process, Great Northern Insulation provides energy audits in partnership with licensed Service Organizations. The audits are accurate - evaluating overall energy efficiency and identifying points of air leakage and poor insulation performance. Importantly, the energy audit will provide data on a host of energy efficiency issues: heat loss, air tightness, R-Values, and moisture accumulation.
Once the home energy audit determines the areas that need improvement, Great Northern Insulation will make viable recommendations for retrofitting and upgrading. Everything will be targeted at enhancing energy-efficiency, with a view to reducing seasonal energy consumption. The professionals at GNI will recommend the type of improvements that deliver the best return-on-investment for the homeowner.
In future, more and more homes will require an EnerGuide Rating, as well as a Label of Proof to confirm the home’s energy efficiency. In fact, this will be essential when selling a residential home. When Great Northern Insulation has completed the energy retrofits, a final energy audit is performed to confirm the scope of work and the level of improvement (in order to satisfy the prescribed requisites of available rebates).
Along with the experts at GNI, homeowners have a wide choice of energy upgrades that can be performed. All of them meet the provincial rebate guidelines, and all of them will contribute to significant energy savings throughout the year:
- Total Air Sealing And Weatherizing Of The Building Envelope
- Increasing The Home’s Attic Insulation And Therefore R-Value
- Installing/Enhancing Basement Insulation To Boost R-Values
- Retrofitting The Insulation (And The R-Values) In Exterior Walls
For the average homeowner in Ontario, provincial initiatives serve to promote home energy efficiency, while helping to reduce energy costs throughout the year.