The first step for homeowners interested in buying or building a new ENERGY STAR home is to contact an NRCan-licensed ENERGY STAR builder.
ENERGY STAR licensed builders
Every ENERGY STAR home is built by a licensed ENERGY STAR builder and must meet the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard. To earn the ENERGY STAR designation, your builder invests in training and then keeps up-to-date through additional courses.
If you are looking to buy an ENERGY STAR home, look for the mark and symbol when you are shopping around. Ensure your builder is ENERGY STAR-licensed by Natural Resources Canada. Only homes built by NRCan-licensed builders can be ENERGY STAR certified. Ask your builder what steps they are taking to make their homes energy efficient and if independent, licensed professionals inspect the homes. To view more useful questions to ask your builder, look for the brochure entitled 10 Questions to Ask your Builder.
How do I know my home meets the ENERGY STAR standard?
A home is deemed ENERGY STAR-certified once it meets the standard. As the homeowner, you will be given a certificate by the Government of Canada and your home is awarded the ENERGY STAR label.
If you suspect that your home is an ENERGY STAR home but you have no certificate or label on your electrical panel, please contact your builder.
Will an ENERGY STAR home cost more?
Builders may choose to include the added cost of building to ENERGY STAR in their base model or decide to provide it as an upgrade to homebuyers.
If you are building your home to meet ENERGY STAR, there will reasonably be some added costs because of the extra features to meet the standard. However, you will receive utility savings from the moment you move in, and over the long run, those savings pay for your investment.
What else can I do to improve my energy use?
To keep your ENERGY STAR certified home performing at its best:
- Use ENERGY STAR products
- Wash and rinse full loads of laundry in cold water
- Purchase a front-loading washing machine which uses less energy and water
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and air dry
- Schedule annual maintenance on your furnace and HRV and ERV to ensure their peak efficiency
- Keep return air grills or heating vents clear of furniture
- Unplug small appliances or equipment not in use, or use power bars or timers to turn them all off at once, or for certain time periods
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