Canada's energy code

Introducing the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015

The new version of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB 2015) is available from the Canadian Codes Centre as of December 18, 2015. NECB 2015 contains more than 90 new changes that will help to ensure a high energy efficiency level in new Canadian buildings, including:

  • New thermal requirements for semi-heated buildings
  • A performance level for air barrier assemblies of opaque building assemblies
  • Updated maximum allowable lighting power densities (LPDs), which are harmonized with those of ASHRAE 90.1-2013
  • Updated interior lighting control requirements
  • Updated piping and duct insulation requirements
  • New prescriptive requirements based on AHSRAE 90.1-2013 for hydronic pump systems and heat rejection equipment such as cooling towers
  • Demand control ventilation for parking garages
  • New prescriptive requirements for gas-fired outdoor packaged units (such as rooftop units)
  • Updated performance requirements in the mechanical and service water heating system equipment tables, which align with the federal Equipment Efficiency Regulations
  • Reduced hot water discharge rate for showers and lavatories

Work is already well underway to continue finding more opportunities to improve the performance level of the NECB as the market moves closer and closer toward Net Zero Energy buildings.

How Canada got its code

In 1997, a consortium of industry stakeholders, provinces, utilities, the National Research Council Canada and Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency developed the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) which provided - for the first time ever - a national standard for building energy performance. The MNECB was not widely adopted, but it did influence how buildings were designed in Canada for more than 15 years. Furthermore, the original code underlies one path to the Canada Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design New Construction program, as well as many provincial and municipal requirements for public buildings.

The previous version: National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011

The NECB 2011 calls for the Canadian buildings sector to be more energy efficient. It outlines the minimum energy efficiency levels for all new buildings in Canada and offers prescriptive, trade-off and performance paths for greater flexibility in achieving code compliance.

The National Research Council Canada offers a series of online presentations on each section of the NECB 2011 designed to help you understand the minimum requirements for:

  • building envelope
  • lighting
  • heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • service water heating
  • electrical power systems and motors

To learn more about other relevant building codes, including the National Building Code of Canada, visit the National Research Council Canada's Canadian Codes Centre. The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 is available for purchase through the National Research Council Canada's Virtual Store.