Assess and improve energy efficiency with an EnerGuide home evaluation
An energy-efficient home is comfortable, healthy, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. An EnerGuide home evaluation can help you understand how your home uses energy now – and identify upgrades to help improve energy efficiency.
An energy advisor will assess your home from basement to attic. This will give you an EnerGuide rating for your home. You can also get an energy efficiency report to help you make decisions about doing retrofits or upgrades. You can even use this service when you’re buying or building a new home.
Greater comfort and a healthier home
Your personalized report can recommend upgrades to help eliminate drafts, reduce noise and provide consistent temperatures and cleaner air. You’ll enhance your family’s whole home environment.
Impactful improvements and significant savings over time
Your EnerGuide report will show you where to make improvements and which ones are most important to improve your home’s energy performance. You’ll reduce your energy consumption and your utility bills.
Added value to your home
Your EnerGuide evaluation gives you a government-backed energy efficiency rating and label for your home – a real selling point for prospective buyers.
While energy advisors and service organizations use NRCan’s official marks, trademarks, and software under a licencing agreement, they operate as independent businesses, and are not agents, partners, or employees of NRCan. As well, NRCan does not endorse any builder or services of any energy advisor/service organization, or any specific product, and accepts no liability in the selection of builders, materials, products, or performance of workmanship.
See how EnerGuide evaluations changed these homes for the better.
Estimated annual savings: $2,040
After the Furlotte’s EnerGuide evaluation and retrofit, their home rating went from 18 to 69—an impressive improvement. But for the Furlottes, the most impressive number is on their heating bills: not even one-third of what they’d been before the upgrades. “The winter of 2013–2014 was much colder than usual,” says Maryse. “And our total heating bill for the year was $960—a long way from the $3,000 we paid the year before.”
Estimated annual savings: $1,300
Lou’s commitment to making her home more energy-efficient is doing more than help her save money on her energy bills. “The first winter after I moved into this house, I thought I was going to freeze to death,” she says. “The furnace was going full blast, and I was still freezing. Now,” she laughs, “I don’t have to wear socks to bed.”
Estimated annual savings: $1,200
As much as he likes saving money on his energy bills, Wayne says he is also enjoying his house more. “I was expecting and looking forward to spending less to heat the house,” he says. “What I didn’t expect was how much more comfortable the house would be. Before the improvements, the living room at the back of the house was always noticeably colder than the rest of the house. Now you can go from room to room, and there’s no variation in temperature at all.”
Estimated annual savings: Energy costs reduced by up to 67 percent
Pauline says the EnerGuide home evaluation was a real help. “We were going to do most of those [renovations] anyway,” says Pauline. “But thanks to the information we got through the evaluation, we were able to make the best choices and do some additional things to make the house more energy-efficient—things we might never have thought of if we hadn’t had the evaluation. And our advisor was really helpful any time we had questions.”
Take charge of your home’s energy performance in three simple steps:
1. Contact a service organization
Find a service organization to schedule an appointment for your home evaluation. In some provinces and territories, this service may be called a pre-retrofit evaluation, an energy audit or an assessment.
Your home evaluation may include:
- An EnerGuide home rating and a label
- Upgrade recommendations for improving your home’s energy performance
- Follow-up home rating after you finish your upgrades
2. Get your EnerGuide evaluation
The energy advisor will take measurements and notes on your home’s mechanical equipment, windows and insulation levels and do a blower door test to measure your home’s air tightness. The advisor will use this data and NRCan’s HOT2000 energy simulation software to find your home’s current and potential energy ratings.
3. Make improvements to your home.
Once you do the recommended upgrades you can book a follow-up evaluation to get your home’s new and improved EnerGuide rating and label. This rating may make your home eligible for grants, rebates and financial incentives. Consult your local, provincial or territorial government website for details.
After you book your appointment, the service organization may call you with a pre-evaluation phone call or email.
Prepare your home with this checklist
For an energy advisor to do a EnerGuide evaluation, your home must meet the following conditions:
- Access – You must provide a clear path to all attic spaces, crawl spaces, mechanical equipment and other hard-to-reach areas. If you’re not sure what the energy advisor will need to access, contact your service organization.
- Heating – At the time of the evaluation, your home must have, at minimum, a space heating system in place that can keep the interior living space at 22 degrees Celsius.
- Windows and doors – All windows and doors must be in place. (A maximum of one window or door may be missing as long as it is temporarily covered and air-sealed.) Broken window panes must be air-sealed with materials such as taped polyethylene for during the blower door test. Close all windows and doors properly to ensure the test is accurate.
- Envelope – If any temporarily air-sealed location fails during the blower door test, your home cannot be evaluated. The building envelope – which includes ceilings directly below the roof and attic spaces, exterior walls, exposed floors, windows and doors – must be intact, including interior and exterior surfaces. If the exterior finish is not intact, the home cannot be evaluated. The energy advisor will note this detail. Any renovations underway within the house can affect only interior partitions and may not break the building envelope.
- Foundation – Your home must rest on its permanent foundation or be a permanently moored float home.
- Power – The blower door test equipment needs a supply of standard AC electrical power. If power is not available from a utility, you must arrange for a suitable power supply and tell the service organization about this situation.
- Water and sewer – Potable water must be supplied by the municipality or from private wells or cistern systems. Sewer service must be provided by the municipality, a private septic system or a holding tank (outhouses and bio-toilets are permissible as toilets).
- Operating kitchen – Kitchen space must include a sink, an operating stove (i.e., no portable devices) and a minimum of six square feet (0.5 square metres) of counter space or evidence of future intent to install a permanent counter (i.e., not just a kitchen table).
Before your evaluation
In addition to clearing paths to hard-to-reach places, remove all ashes from any wood-burning appliances so they’re not drawn into the house during the blower door test.
- your municipal property tax roll number to confirm home ownership
- all paid invoices and receipts for goods and services related to your energy-efficiency upgrades, if required as evidence for a rebate or incentive program
The day of your evaluation
Do not use fuel-fired space heating or water heating systems. The blower door test could affect safe operation of your gas appliances. Also do not use any wood-fired or other solid-fuel fired appliances. You can return all equipment to normal settings at the end of the test.
Your energy advisor will give you a Notice to Homeowner consent form. Take time to read it thoroughly. If you’re comfortable with the terms, sign the form to authorize the evaluation.
The energy advisor will review the evaluation’s scope, length and purpose and explain the data-collection process. The advisor will take photos of your home’s exterior, its mechanical systems, attic space and any wood-burning appliances. All data and photos are strictly protected within the guidelines of privacy legislation.
If you wish, the energy advisor will explain the tools used in the evaluation. Feel free to ask questions.
The advisor often begins with the exterior of your home and then evaluates the interior. The data collected includes
- the level of your home’s airtightness, using a blower door test
- the insulation levels of your walls, ceilings and basement
- the number, type and location of all windows and exterior doors
- the size and efficiency ratings of your space heating, space cooling and water heating equipment
- information about any ventilation equipment
- any other information relevant to your home’s energy performance
When the evaluation is over, your energy advisor will confirm all relevant information. The advisor may discuss related program information and ask you to participate in a survey.