How do I find an energy efficient home to buy?
If you’re looking to buy a new home, there are a number of ways to find an energy efficient home. Look for homes that are certified as a Passive House, Built Green, or with Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) EnerGuide Rating System or ENERGY STAR® certificate and label (usually placed on the home’s electrical panel). An ENERGY STAR certified home meets the ENERGY STAR standard for enhanced energy efficiency. On average, an ENERGY STAR certified new home will be 20% more efficient than a home built to code.
According to NRCan, typical features of an ENERGY STAR home include:
- Efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy, reduce indoor humidity and improve the overall comfort of your home.
- High-performance ENERGY STAR windows, patio doors, and skylights that keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
- Walls and ceilings insulated beyond what is required by the building code.
- A variety of ENERGY STAR products that use less electricity by meeting strict technical specifications.
- A heat or energy recovery ventilation system (HRV or ERV) that ensures your home has controlled ventilation.
Another way to gauge a home’s energy efficiency is by asking the seller if they’ve conducted an EnerGuide home evaluation. If so, ask to see the EnerGuide home label to get a better sense of the home’s annual energy consumption. You can also ask the seller if the home has energy efficient or ENERGY STAR products.
Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.