The mandate of FutureProofMyBuilding.com is to make building green easy for people no matter where they live. This is a big goal which must start locally. To accomplish this, best practices from existing standards such as Passive House, LEED, Energy Star and R2000 will need to be widely implemented and VERIFIED in new and existing homes.
Sun Ridge Residential is the company responsible for the creation of the R2000 program and is the company responsible for bringing the Energy Star Standard to Western Canada. They are leaders in the field of energy efficient housing in Canada. To ensure that a standard is met, the performance of energy auditing of new homes is necessary in order to verify meeting the requirements of the Energy Star or R2000 programs. Additionally Energuide numbers for new homes can be determined on properties that are assessed.
Why Verify for Energy Star or better?
Verification is an essential activity for ensuring that a home or commercial building meets the energy requirements and objectives as set out by the design team. One must ask, without testing, how do you know that it meets requirements? The short answer is that you won’t know for sure.
Currently verification through air tightness testing is a fringe activity for many new homes. This is likely because the builder is not required to prove the air tightness/efficiency of a home that does not meet one of the standards listed above. This gives builders little incentive to pay the extra cost associated with the testing. It also reduces their risk with regard to not meeting a standard that the customer never requested. But if you are good at what you do and provide a quality product, why not prove it and take pride in proving it? If you are a builder, designer or contractor that takes extra pride in providing a high efficiency product or service then I want to know about it and help you reach your customers.
Working with Building Contractors
So why doesn’t every builder build to Energy Star or higher? What are the challenges? Are people buying higher efficiency homes? These are some of the questions that need to be understood before the majority of new homes will be built above and beyond the current minimum standard. It is important to work with contractors to understand the answers to these questions and help builders market a higher efficiency product. With most people the answer comes down to cost.
Since we live in a “market” economy, it seems to be up to the buyer which is why if you are buying a home, you must educate yourself. There currently is no energy code in most of Canada which provides little incentive to go above and beyond unless it is the will of the customer.
Do you want to have the guarantee that your new or existing home is energy efficient? If so then you should get your home verified to know it’s Energuide Number. This is a number between 0 and 100 that let’s you know how energy efficient your home is. Energy Star homes rate at or above 81. The rating for a Net Zero home is 100, meaning that the home produces as much or more energy than it uses over the course of a year.
What does your home rate? Check the main electrical panel in your home. If there isn’t a sticker on it with an Energuide rating, then it’s unlikely that your home has been tested.