To earn the ENERGY STAR® label, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). These homes are on average 20 per cent more energy efficient than homes built to the current building code. ENERGY STAR® qualified homes save you money, improve the quality and comfort of your home, and protect the environment.
Any single family home, unit in a multifamily building with 4 units or fewer, or unit in a multifamily building with 3 stories or less in height can earn the Energy Star label. This includes traditional site-constructed homes as well as log homes, modular homes, system-built homes (e.g. insulated concrete forms, structurally insulated panels), and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code manufactured homes.
No, most of the features that make a home energy efficient are ‘behind the walls’ – things like sealed ducts, improved insulation and high-performance windows. But while you may not be able to see the differences with your eyes, you’ll certainly feel it with greater comfort and lower utility bills.
Look for a blue ENERGY STAR label on your electrical panel or elsewhere in your utility room. If you don’t see one, contact your builder and ask them for documentation that your home has earned the ENERGY STAR certification.
ENERGY STAR® does not set restrictions on the size of homes that can earn the label.
By purchasing an ENERGY STAR® home, you can have all the features you want in your new home, plus better performance, greater comfort and lower utility bills -- all while helping to protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
An ENERGY STAR® qualified home may have a higher initial cost than a comparable home without the energy efficient features. However, you’ll pay less in utility bills each month, which may offset any increase in your mortgage payment. Also, some builders make ENERGY STAR® homes a standard offering.
Comfort should be improved in an ENERGY STAR® qualified home. Typical features include higher insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems and ENERGY STAR® windows, patio doors and skylights, which will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Sealed duct systems also contribute to increased comfort by providing balanced airflow to all rooms of the home.
Look for an ENERGY STAR® builder near you by visiting the NRCan website. NRCan works with accredited service organizations throughout Ontario to supply the ENERGY STAR® labels to qualified ESNH evaluators/inspectors who then place them on the electrical panel in verified homes.