Frequently Asked Questions


What home buyers want to know

1. What is an ENERGY STAR® New Home?

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.

2. What kind of homes can earn the ENERGY STAR® label?

Single family homes, semi-detached homes, row homes and some multi-family residential buildings (3 stories or less in height) can earn the ENERGY STAR® label.

3. Do ENERGY STAR® homes look different?

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.

4. We bought a new home that our builder said was ENERGY STAR®. How do we know for sure?

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.

5. Can homes of all sizes earn the ENERGY STAR® label?

ENERGY STAR® does not set restrictions on the size of homes that can earn the label.

6. Why should I buy an ENERGY STAR® certified home?

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.

7. Does an ENERGY STAR® home cost more?

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.

8. I may be using less energy to heat and cool my home, but will I be comfortable?

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.

9. Where do I get the ENERGY STAR® label for my 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.

Energy efficiency is a must-have feature for home buyers today and will prove to be of even more value in the future. Ask your builder about ENERGY STAR® homes before you make one of the biggest purchase decisions in your life.