EnerGuide Home Evaluations And EnerGuide Ratings

Published on May 01, 2017

The EnerGuide Home Evaluation Program is a Canadian government initiative designed to assist homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their home, and enhance indoor home comfort from season to season. The program is focused on the home evaluation itself, and accredited by Natural Resources Canada. As such, homeowners are encouraged to hire only accredited energy contractors, and be cautious with so-called “door-to-door” salespeople who offer their services.

The EnerGuide Home Evaluation provides valuable information and data about a home’s overall energy performance and energy efficiency. This information is becoming more and more relevant for homeowners, in terms of day-to-day energy habits, making energy improvements, or buying a home. At Barrier Sciences Group, home energy professionals provide a complete home evaluation service, beginning with a Home Energy Audit, and identifying all of the deficiencies in the home.

energy efficiency guide

In terms of day-to-day home energy habits, the audit provides valuable information about energy usage, and how best to make improvements. With the aim to enhance energy efficiency, and save on seasonal utility costs, Barrier Sciences Group performs an in-depth assessment of the home from top to bottom.

The assessment evaluates air leakage in the building envelope; performance of the HVAC equipment; and any deficiencies in existing insulation, air sealing, and ventilation.

For homeowners considering renovations, the team at Barrier Sciences Group will recommend the upgrades and retrofits that will enhance energy efficiency throughout the home. Expertly performed, Home Energy Auditshelp homeowners to make astute decisions about the upgrades that would be of highest priority, and deliver the best return-on-investment. Large home or small a comprehensive home evaluation is the ideal first step in determining how best to proceed.

Understanding the EnerGuide Rating System

Important to know, an EnerGuide Rating is issued by a Certified Energy Auditor, accredited by Natural Resources Canada. Ratings range from 0 to 100, with a low rating indicating poor energy efficiency. Generally, a brand new home built to code will have a 65+ rating. A home with energy efficiency upgrades might rate at 75, or higher. Homes that rate below 65 need improvements.

What is a good EnerGuide rating for a house?

EnerGuide ratings were developed by Natural Resources Canada in order to help Canadians improve the energy efficiency in their homes. The actual rating is a measure of a home's energy efficiency. Each home is rated on a scale from 0 to 100. A 0 rating would represent a home with much air leakage, no effective insulation and very high energy use. A 100 rating would represent a home that is completely airtight, properly insulated and uses energy efficient mechanicals. EnerGuide ratings are assessed and calculated by a Certified Energy Advisor, who also provides recommendations for improving energy efficiency.

The newest EnerGuide Rating System offers homeowners many more opportunities for making energy improvements. There is a new measurement system that replaces the 0-100 system, and actually measures how much energy is being used in a year. Clearly, the less energy used, the more energy efficient the home. Homeowners can easily calculate their annual energy costs.

For the team at Barrier Sciences Group, the new EnerGuide Rating System provides a homeowner with a viable “game plan” to improve home energy efficiency, consume less energy, and save on utility expenses season to season. A homeowner can therefore pinpoint which energy upgrades or retrofits will be made to achieve a better energy rating (and “energy label”) for the home.

What is the difference between EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR?

EnerGuide is the official trademark (Government of Canada) for rating the energy consumption of an appliance or other consumer item. The EnerGuide “label” represents an impartial rating of the energy performance of an appliance or device.

The ENERGY STAR logo identifies homes and appliance models that would either meet or exceed superior levels of energy efficiency. These models are considered to be the best. When shopping for appliances, it’s best to look out for the ENERGY STAR or EnerGuide logo.

It’s important to know the difference between ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide. ENERGY STAR highlights the superior energy efficiency of a specific product, while EnerGuide helps consumers find products that have better energy performance.

What does an EnerGuide label tell you?

The EnerGuide label helps you to make energy-wise decisions when shopping for appliances. The label does not necessarily mean that a specific appliance is energy efficient without knowing what to look for – it shows how much energy an appliance uses. It also makes it much easier to compare appliance models based on energy efficiency.

Amongst the various metrics printed for view, the EnerGuide label indicates the annual energy usage of a specific appliance, measured in kilowatt-hours. The lower this number, the better. The label also shows how a specific appliance model compares with other similar products, helping you to choose.

Are energy audits free?

A professional Energy Advisor, licensed by Natural Resources Canada, must perform a home energy audit. The Energy Advisor inspects your home from top to bottom and recommends the upgrades and retrofits that will improve energy efficiency. Each improvement option is ranked by cost-effectiveness.

The Energy Advisor will also point out various incentives and rebates that are available to offset the cost of upgrades. A formal home energy audit requires both a pre-upgrade audit and a post-upgrade audit. Though energy audits are not free, most of the rebate programs will cover the cost of both energy audits as part of their program.

Right now, an EnerGuide Rating is personal to every homeowner. However, in 2019, all homes will require an accredited EnerGuide Rating prior to being listed for sale. As such, a better energy rating will identify the home as more energy efficient. This will naturally add value to the home, while allowing homebuyers, real estate agents, and homebuilders to focus on higher ratings.

What Barrier Sciences Group can do for me?

For homeowners who are interested in improving home energy efficiency, Barrier Sciences Group can manage the process from end to end. For a start, BSG home energy experts provide an in-depth Home Energy Audit to identify deficiencies throughout the entire home. Following the audit, a number of recommendations are made for retrofit improvements.

The objective of the home energy evaluation is to determine a before-and-after EnerGuide Rating for the home. This allows homeowners to undertake energy efficiency enhancements that will measurably improve their home EnerGuide Rating. BSG provides a comprehensive energy evaluation, with data that accurately reflects the performance of the home.

•  airtightness is tested in the home from top to bottom
•  insulation is inspected in the attic, basement, and walls
•  the heating/air conditioning system is inspected for efficiency
•  the water heater is inspected for efficiency
•  the home’s general energy efficiency and performance is audited

Contact BSG for a home energy audit today and make your home more energy efficient! 

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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