ENERGY STAR Now Certifying Multifamily Buildings in Ontario

Published on October 29, 2018

ENERGY STAR Now Certifying Multifamily Buildings in Ontario

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, has announced that multifamily buildings in Ontario are now able to apply for ENERGY STAR certification, a first for the province.

The announcement included that this newly available certification is going to create good middle class jobs in support of a clean energy future in Canada, and reduce Ontario’s energy consumption and costs.

Working in collaboration with the home building industry and EnerQuality, this five year pilot program from ENERGY STAR is aiming to help Ontario builders take on new energy efficient building practices for multifamily buildings.

Called the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise (New Construction) Pilot Program, it will recognize buildings that have been designed to be 15 percent more energy efficient than what is required by provincial building code, among other requirements.

The announcement states there will be benefits to builders and building owners, as well as homeowners and tenants from this new program.

Certification for builders and building owners is said to see lower operating costs, increased rental value and occupancy rates, along with a higher level of engagement with communities and clients.

“For homeowners and tenants, [certification] means superior energy performance and lower energy costs,” said the announcement.

Sohi is proud to see that multifamily high-rise buildings are now able to achieve ENERGY STAR certification, saying that this pilot program will contribute to reaching Canada’s greenhouse gas emission targets; as well as creating good jobs, promoting housing-sector related innovation, and reducing consumers’ energy costs.   

ENERGY STAR is an ongoing Canadian program that has been promoting and supporting energy efficiency  for 17 years. It is a voluntary partnership between the Canadian Government and over 1,500 organizations that are dedicated to high levels of energy efficiency and minimal natural resource use.

EnerQuality is offering training to builders and licensed professionals through a partnership with RDH Building Science. The first set of workshops for ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise (Builder Training) is on November 22nd for builders, and November 23rd for licensed professionals.

Finding Out if a Building is Eligible

Although Barrier Sciences Group is unable to present a multifamily building with an ENERGY STAR certification, our Registered Energy Advisors able qualified to check and verify if a building meets ENERGY STAR standards.


Barrier Sciences Group can also verify the efficiency of multifamily building of any size, as we offer: airtightness tests for individual units, thermal imaging to detect unseen air leaks, and RETscreen reports to ensure financial efficiency. These tests arm our Registered Energy Advisors with all the information they need to ensure a multifamily building meets all of ENERGY STAR’s standards without the certification.

EnerGuide labelling is also beneficial for non-multifamily buildings as well. Voluntarily labelling older and newer homes can lead to multiple energy efficiency opportunities. Attaching a label to a home provides a piece of verified information that speaks to the home’s energy efficiency, and can be used to help increase value at time of sale by giving home buyers the ability to make a more transparent and informed decision.

Additionally, our Registered Energy Advisors can make sure that your home meets the requirements that are necessary to receive a rebate from Union Gas, or help advise you on what modifications would be the most cost-effective to become applicable.

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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