Programs designed for you

Whether you're planning to build a new facility or you're wondering how to retrofit your older building, we have programs and resources to help transform your energy bill into an opportunity. Whether you own, manage or operate a new, existing or federal building, we can help you incorporate energy management best practices into your operations, regardless of what phase you are at in your building's life cycle.

We have contributed to making organizations across the country more energy efficient, through our training programs, software tools and other resources. And we can help you, too!

See the sections below for a listing of some of the programs we offer to help your organization become more energy efficient.

You may also wish to consider:
Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs in Canada

New buildings

Build it smart from the get-go

Investing in energy efficiency at the design and construction phases yields substantial benefits that will continue over the life of your building - typically 50-70 years or more. We can provide you with information and practical steps for implementing energy efficient practices targeted specifically for your new building - because the best time to incorporate energy efficiency is right at the beginning.

Find out how the following programs can help you build an efficient new building:

  • Canada’s energy code
    The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 (NECB 2011) established an overall 25 percent improvement in efficiency over the previous code, and the NECB 2015 calls for even better energy performance. Thanks to the guidance the code provides, Canada can truly compete with other countries that lead the world in energy-efficient building design.
  • CAN-QUEST
    This energy modelling software is designed specifically to help you demonstrate compliance with Canada’s energy code, and is available free from Natural Resources Canada.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Target Finder
    Target Finder is a free online application that can be used on its own or as a complement to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Choose the energy performance score you want to achieve, and the program shows you how your intended design measures up - allowing you to modify your design for improved energy performance even before your structure is built.
  • Energy management training
    Energy management training often focuses on operating and maintaining buildings efficiently, but training can be very valuable in the early stages as well. The Canada Green Building Council, the Association québécoise pour la maîtrise de l’énergie (available in French only) and the Education Program Innovations Center all offer courses and programs to help you better understand efficient building design and energy modelling. See our training page for even more training opportunities.

For more expert advice and information to help you design energy savings into your new building project, visit Energy efficiency for new buildings.

Existing buildings

Untapped potential

According to the United Nations' Buildings and Climate Change: Summary for Decision-Makers (2009) [PDF - 3.7 MB] report, "the building sector has the largest potential for delivering long-term, significant and cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions." Improving the efficiency of your existing buildings through the use of various measures and retrofits is a high-volume, low-cost approach to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

It's not just about the technology. The key to reducing the amount of energy consumed by your existing building is by becoming more energy efficient. A more holistic approach based on our model for change, which calls for technological, organizational and behavioural change, will maximize the energy performance of your building.

Find out how the following programs can help you operate your building as efficiently as possible:

  • Energy management best practices
    Implementing energy management best practices in your organization can take a lot of guesswork out of running your building efficiently by instilling good energy management habits and putting your organization’s commitment in writing. For more details, read our Energy Management Best Practices Guide [PDF – 1.43 MB].
  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
    Natural Resource’s Canada’s adaptation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acclaimed energy benchmarking tool is free to use, and includes Canadian weather data, a bilingual interface and 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores for a number of Canadian building types. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so why not start benchmarking your energy use today?
  • Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines (coming soon)
    Even if you know that your building could use a retrofit, there are so many options and competing priorities for funding that it can be difficult to know where to start and what measures would be best suited to your building. Natural Resources Canada’s Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines, offered as a set of building-type-specific modules, can help by outlining the most effective measures for each building type, explaining the pros and cons of various options, and providing easy-to-use checklists. Publication of the first set of modules is expected in 2016, and in the meantime, visit our retrofitting pages for more helpful hints and advice.
  • Energy management training
    Energy management training is a key best practice that can take your energy management efforts to the next level. In older buildings with less efficient technology, training can help operators learn to recognize and capitalize on low- or no-cost measures that can offer surprisingly high savings. And in newer buildings with state-of-the-art efficient technology, training can ensure that operators know how to use the equipment so that they can take full advantage of its energy-saving capabilities. Visit our energy management training section for more information.

Though managing your energy is a challenging business, our initiatives for existing buildings will help you to customize a best-in-class energy management plan that will inspire sound energy management and create an energy-aware culture within your organization.

Federal buildings

In a class by itself

In addition to the energy management challenges faced by existing buildings in general, federal buildings must also fulfil certain additional responsibilities. Natural Resources Canada offers a number of programs to help your federal organization deliver on those obligations:

To learn about how we improved our own energy efficiency, visit About the Buildings Division.

  • The Federal Buildings Initiative is the only federal program solely dedicated to supporting energy management in the federal buildings sector. To date, more than 80 successful retrofit projects, representing approximately one third of total federal floor space, have benefitted from the knowledge and skills of the Federal Buildings Initiative. Federal organizations that have worked with the Federal Buildings Initiative have reduced their energy use by an average of nearly 20 percent. Get in touch today to find out how your organization can do the same.
    • Facilitation services
      To help get your energy efficiency project off the ground, the Federal Buildings Initiative offers facilitation services, pairing your organization with an experienced, unbiased advisor who can guide you through the planning, implementation and management of your project.
    • Energy performance contracting
      The Federal Buildings Initiative offers a set of tools to help you take advantage of energy performance contracting to finance and implement your energy efficiency project, including a list of pre-qualified bidders for your contract and model documents to help you get your contract set up.
    • Community of Practice
      By joining the Federal Buildings Initiative’s Community of Practice, you’ll be tapping into an innovative networking group that draws on the experience of seasoned real property and environmental managers, and meets regularly to share experiences and ideas.

Is your federal department or agency ready to tackle energy use in your building? The Federal Buildings Initiative can help you. For more information, visit our Energy efficiency for federal buildings section.