Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is working with key industry stakeholders to adopt updates to the EnerGuide Rating Scale across the country. During the transition period, provinces and territories will continue to use the 0-100 scale until they are ready to adopt the new gigajoules per year scale.
Which provinces have already transitioned to EnerGuide Rating System version 15?
The following provinces now use the new EnerGuide Rating System version 15: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island.
The new system has just come into effect in Alberta on July 1, 2016.
Why are these updates necessary?
Keeping the system updated ensures homeowners have better access to customized information about the energy efficiency of their home, which helps them make better decisions when operating, renovating or buying a home. The new EnerGuide rating demonstrates the energy performance of a home by estimating the net amount of energy a home consumes in a year. This is calculated by subtracting the estimated renewable energy contributions from the estimated annual energy consumption. Energy advisors produce a rating by collecting house information during an on-site evaluation and entering it into NRCan’s energy simulation software. The calculation uses standard operating conditions to ensure the rating focuses on the house and not on the occupant’s behaviour. This makes it easier to use the rating to compare the energy usage of one house to another as the rating is not meant to represent your energy consumption as shown on your utility bill.
What are some of the key updates to the ERS?
- Introduction of a new, consumption-based rating scale using gigajoules per year per square metre
- Redesigned informative house label
- New rating details report for homeowners
- Changes to elements included in the rating
- For professionals delivering the rating system: updated energy modelling software, house evaluation procedures and quality assurance procedures, updated delivery network testing, licensing and registration
What are the differences between the old and new EnerGuide labels?
The most significant change on the new labels is that the new EnerGuide rating shows the energy performance of the home rather than an indicator of energy efficiency. This helps homeowners better understand their home’s energy use, how the rating was calculated and where the energy is consumed.
What are the key improvements and what do I need to know to understand the rating?
- Your home’s EnerGuide rating calculation helps you understand your energy sources and the math that produced your home’s rating. The more intuitive rating scale makes it easier to understand, i.e. the lower number on the rating scale, the better the energy performance of your home.
- A rating of zero GJ/year means that a home produces as much energy as it consumes. These homes are considered highly energy-efficient.
- GJ/year rating allows you to see your score as a unit of energy consumption, just like you would see a consumption rating of litres per 100 km’s for vehicles.
- A typical new house is the reference point against which to compare your rating. This allows you to compare your rating to the rating your house would achieve if it were built to meet typical new home energy performance construction requirements.
- The rating includes fixed energy-related elements of your home, such as heating, cooling and ventilation systems and the insulation levels in all parts of your home
- Standard operating conditions are used for things like hot water consumption, thermostat temperatures, and the number of occupants.
- Unique and innovative label design is an energy performance snapshot of the more detailed information that you will find in the new Homeowner Information Sheet and allows you to see at a glance the largest energy uses in your home.
Can I update to the new label if I already have an existing EnerGuide label?
No, the ratings that were based on the 0-100 scale cannot be converted to the new GJ/year rating. To obtain an updated EnerGuide rating and label, you must have a new home evaluation performed on your home, using the updated version of the rating system.
How do I arrange an EnerGuide home evaluation and what is included?
An energy evaluation by an energy advisor working for a licensed service organization is the first step for you to understand your home’s energy performance.
Before choosing an option, determine your needs and check if there is a local bylaw or incentive program you wish to participate in.
Option 1: Home Rating
This option is ideal for home sellers who wish to communicate the benefits of the energy efficiency of their home to potential buyers.
- One of our energy advisors will visit your home and conduct an EnerGuide home evaluation – this will take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours to complete and includes:
- blower door test that measures air leakage
- review of building envelope
- review of insulation value
- review of mechanical system
- Upon completion of the evaluation, we will provide you with your EnerGuide rating and label that shows the rated energy consumption in GJ/year per square meter.
- You will receive your Homeowner Information Sheet that includes detailed information about your home and its rated energy use
Option 2: Upgrade Recommendations
This option is ideal for existing homeowners who are looking to renovate their home to make it more energy efficient and affordable to operate.
- You will receive a Renovation Upgrade Report that provides a detailed customized roadmap with recommendations for improving your home’s energy performance.
Option 3: Follow-up Home Rating
- This is a second energy evaluation that will demonstrate your improved rating after completing your upgrade recommendations. This will take approximately one hour to complete and includes a blower door test.
- The follow-up evaluation will result in a new EnerGuide rating, Homeowner Information Sheet, and label indicating how your improvements have improved your home’s energy performance.