Natural Resources Canada is working with partners as they prepare to adopt updates to the EnerGuide rating scale and other rating system components by province and territory across the country. During this transition period, provinces and territories will continue to use the 0-100 scale until they are ready to adopt the new gigajoules per year scale. Learn more about what's changing.
EnerGuide Rating in Gigajoules per Year
This new, energy use-based rating is now available in the following regions:
British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island
The EnerGuide rating demonstrates the energy performance of a home. It is an estimate of the net amount of energy a house consumes in a year, calculated by subtracting the estimated renewable energy contributions from the estimated annual energy consumption. An energy advisor produces a rating by collecting house information during an on-site evaluation and entering it into Natural Resources Canada’s energy simulation software.
The calculation uses standard operating conditions to ensure the rating focuses on the house, rather than the occupants’ behaviour. This makes it easier to use the rating to compare the energy usage of one house to another. The rating is not meant to represent your actual energy consumption as shown on your utility bills.
The rating is part of the broader EnerGuide home evaluation which provides consumers and homeowners with useful details about the energy performance and greenhouse gas production of a house.
Key points to understanding the rating
Aim towards zero on the rating scale. The lower the number, the better energy performance of the home.
Best energy performance indicates high performing homes, with a rating of zero gigajoules per year meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes. Generally, these homes would be highly energy-efficient.
An annual gigajoule rating (GJ/year) allows you to see your score as a unit of energy consumption, similar to how you would see a consumption rating of kilowatts per hour for appliances, litres per 100 kilometres for vehicles, or calories for food. Learn about gigajoules.
A typical new house is the reference point against which to compare your rating. It is a version of your house as if built to typical new construction standards for energy performance.
The rating includes the fixed energy-related elements of your home such as heating, cooling and ventilation systems and the insulation levels in all parts of your home.
Standard operating conditions are used for things like hot water consumption, thermostat temperatures, and the number of occupants. Learn the details about standard operating conditions.
Learn about gigajoules
A gigajoule (GJ) is a unit of energy that can represent all energy sources you find in Canadian homes: electricity, fossil fuels and wood. In some regions GJs already appear on utility bills for fossil fuels. For instance, in Alberta the cost of natural gas consumed is typically expressed in dollars per gigajoule.
Using an energy consumption unit of measurement for the EnerGuide rating scale allows for energy improvements to be expressed in straight percentages up and down the scale. For instance, if your EnerGuide rating went from 100 GJ per year to 90 GJ per year, that is a 10% improvement.
How much is 1 gigajoule of energy?
One GJ of energy is equal to the energy consumed to do the following activities around your home:
Surf the web for 5,500 hours
Vacuum your house for 230 hours
Run a typical refrigerator for 30 weeks
Toast 3,000 bagels
Watch an entire National Hockey League Season: All 1,230 games
Wash over 100 loads of laundry
The average Canadian household uses 100 gigajoules of energy per year
The options described below are available to you when arranging for an EnerGuide home evaluation. The option you choose will depend on your needs but may also depend on the requirements of an incentive program you wish to participate in or a local bylaw in your area.
EnerGuide Home Evaluation Services
Option 1: A Home Rating
An energy evaluation by an energy advisor is the first step for you to understand your home’s energy performance
- An energy advisor working for a licensed service organization visits your home and conducts the EnerGuide home evaluation.
- The service organization provides you with your EnerGuide rating and label which shows rated energy consumption in gigajoules per year.
- You receive your Homeowner Information Sheet that has detailed information about the home and its rated energy use.
Option 2: Upgrade Recommendations
Add expert energy renovation advice to your evaluation
- You also receive your Renovation Upgrade Report, which provides a detailed customized roadmap indicating recommendations for improving your home’s energy performance.
Option 3: Follow-up Home Rating
Have a second energy evaluation to see your improved rating after completing your upgrade recommendations
- An energy advisor will perform a follow-up evaluation after your home renovations are complete.
- The follow-up evaluation will result in a new EnerGuide rating, Homeowner Information Sheet, and label indicating how your improvements have impacted your home’s energy performance.
EnerGuide Home Label
After an EnerGuide evaluation is performed on your home, an EnerGuide label will be given to you to affix to your electrical panel.
Homeowner Information Sheet
Learn more about the Homeowner Information Sheet
Homeowner Information Sheet
Homeowner Information Sheet - details about the home and its rated energy performance.
- How the rating is calculated
- Your home’s building envelope characteristics
- Your home’s mechanical component details
- Key terms and concepts related to your home’s energy performance
- Information on the next step to improving your home’s energy performance
This information helps you better understand how your home uses energy.
Renovation Upgrade Report
Learn more about the Renovation Upgrade Report
Renovation Upgrade Report
Renovation Upgrade Report – a detailed, customized roadmap showing recommendations for improving your home’s energy performance.
- Your energy action roadmap
- Your rating before and after upgrades
- A list of recommended upgrades and energy saving results
- Upgrade details
- Customized comments by your energy advisor
- Before and after charts showing heat loss by building component and a breakdown of energy use
Standard Operating Conditions and Household Operating Conditions
The EnerGuide Rating calculation uses standard operating conditions for things like hot water consumption, thermostat temperatures, and the number of occupants to ensure the rating focuses on the house, rather than the occupants’ behaviour. This makes it easier to use the rating to compare the energy usage of one house to another.
Household operating conditions are used in your Renovation Upgrade Report to provide an estimate of your Estimated Household Energy Use. This estimate is based on your home's actual number of occupants and their basic energy use patterns. Your Estimated Household Energy Use is an estimate of annual energy use that is customized to your particular household.
Here is an example of how one family’s household operating conditions might compare to standard operating conditions:
Your home’s annual energy use, as reflected on your utility bills, is not expected to match your EnerGuide Rating or your Estimated Household Energy Use.
EnerGuide calculations do not account for normal fluctuations in household’s energy use, and make a large number of assumptions for things like hot water use, ventilation, and occupant behavior. Of course, there are also changes in yearly weather patterns which significantly affect your consumption and utility bills.
There are also significant home energy uses, including pools and hot tubs, which are not included in the calculations. These items are not common to most houses so have been excluded from the calculations to make it easier to use the rating to compare the energy usage of one house to another. These types of energy uses will be listed in the House Details section of your Homeowner Information Sheet as atypical energy loads.
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