The Benefits of Voluntarily Labelling Homes for Sale with an EnerGuide Rating

Published on October 12, 2018

Voluntary EnerGuide Labelling

Voluntarily labelling homes for sale with anEnerGuide rating can provide realtors with numerous benefits and information to provide to their new home buyer. As a realtor, it is quite common to help a client find a home with their desired amenities, such as a pool or large acreage. However it can be difficult to speak to the actual energy usage of the home, or to answer any questions the client may have about expected energy bills without an EnerGuide label. With a market driven or voluntary labelling process, these concerns could be addressed easily; providing extra reassurance to the client and increasing the value of the home.

When Should You Discuss Energy Efficiency?

When you and your client are having a conversation about the home during the time of sale, I strongly recommend having energy efficiency find its way into the discussion. It is not only beneficial to help you build confidence in your buyer, but having easy to read information about the energy usage of a home can be invaluable in keeping your clients informed about their potential purchase. With an EnerGuide rating, you would be able to supply them with expected energy usage and speak to the comfortability of the house outside of the current season. This would remove an aspect of buying a home that can result in a bit of guesswork for your client.

Why We Should Encourage Voluntary Labelling

With energy labels now becoming prevalent on cars, food, and appliances, clients are fairly acclimatized to seeing them and would have little trouble adapting to an EnerGuide label. Homeowners who invest in improving their home’s energy efficiency should have an energy audit done during the time of sale, so that their energy upgrades are reflected in their asking price. This creates incentive for homeowners to look towards improving their home’s energy efficiency, and an incentive for prospective buyers to shop for homes that will be comfortable and efficient.

Some Canadian Real Estate boards (such as those in: Calgary, Victoria, and Vancouver) currently have courses available regarding energy ratings, and even have a place for the rating on MLS listings. With this infrastructure already in place, it is sensible to encourage energy labelling on at least a voluntary basis when speaking with prospective clients.

What Comes Next for Voluntary Energy Labelling?

A continued and co-operative dialogue between the government, realtors, and energy advisors is key to developing a process that can benefit both home buyers and home sellers. In Ontario, there arecurrently a few energy rebate programs which allow for a home to be equipped with an EnerGuide rating, also allowing homeowners to recoup some of their energy upgrade costs, and  some of the cost of the energy audit itself.

However, educating real estate agents and licensing enough energy advisors will still require more time before the market will be able to comply with any future legislation looking to make energy labels mandatory. For now though, it is important for the industry to continue to develop and make itself ready to meet increased demands in the future.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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