In the 1970’s, dramatic increases in the price of oil sent shock waves through the world economy and began the movement toward energy efficiency. In 1978, a group of visionaries from the Saskatchewan Research Council built the Saskatchewan Demonstration House in Saskatoon. This project demonstrated what could be achieved with their innovative design, modern technology, good building practices, and materials. The demonstration house incorporated passive solar features and additional insulation and air sealing.
In 1980, the federal government stimulated the rate of construction of energy-efficient houses by establishing the Super Energy Efficient Home (SEEH) Program. Under this program, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Energy and Mines and Resources Canada (EMR), provided builders with training and incentives starting in 1984 to construct what are now called R-2000 certified homes.
In 1982, the Government of Canada officially launched the R-2000 Program. From its outset the program was based on technical guidelines that exceeded building code requirements, a computer based energy analysis tool, a network of builders and service providers trained in energy-efficient building practices, and close collaboration with the home building industry. Ongoing research projects such as the Advanced Houses initiative, feedback from active program participants, and the housing industry have helped refine the R-2000 Standard encouraging innovation in energy-efficient housing over time.
In April 1998, the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) was established within NRCan. Its mandate was developed to renew, strengthen and expand Canada’s commitment to energy efficiency, particularly in relation to Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The OEE manages housing programs including the R-2000 Standard, as well as many other programs aimed at various sectors of the economy. These sectors include:
- Housing and buildings
- Large industrial emitters
- Small and medium-sized enterprises
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