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Natural Resources Canada
2011/134

NIAGARA’S NEW HOME BUILDERS
EMBRACE NEXT GENERATION TECHNOLOGY


St. Catharines, ON: December 8, 2011 A select group of home builders are taking energy efficiency to the next level by building four new ‘Discovery Homes’ in the Niagara Region.  The homes will incorporate a number of new innovative energy-efficient technologies as part of a new Technology Adoption Pilot (TAP) coordinated by EnerQuality Corporation.   The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas are also contributing to this initiative.

The innovative selections are the culmination of NRCan’s Local Energy Efficiency Partnership (LEEP) next-generation technology identification and selection process. Through LEEP, local home builders have found, assessed and selected the energy conserving technologies that could work best for them in their construction processes. The aim is to find the technologies that can be more regularly incorporated into mainstream construction as builders move towards higher performance housing.  

“This project is an example of how Government of Canada researchers are partnering with industry to introduce new, energy efficient technologies into the marketplace,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “The leadership shown by Niagara builders is helping to keep our country at the forefront of home energy performance.”  

“I am truly encouraged to see this kind of development in Niagara,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls. “Our Government is committed to taking concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect the environment by investing in clean energy technologies that demonstrate the greatest potential for progress.”

“We are excited to see the launch of TAP,” said Andrew Pride, Vice-President of Conservation for OPA. “We have ambitious electricity conservation targets in Ontario and we are confident TAP will speed up the process of getting some of these great new technologies into new homes, here in Niagara and eventually across the province.”

Both the TAP and LEEP pilot initiatives are being coordinated by EnerQuality Corporation, an organization that designs and delivers energy-efficiency programs to the residential construction industry. “What’s different about these TAP ‘Discovery Homes’ is that builders worked together to review and select which technologies would work best in their particular region,” said EnerQuality President Corey McBurney, who added, “Niagara builders, along with municipal building officials gained confidence in these next-generation technologies and installation methods through their participation in the LEEP process. Through TAP, they will further increase their confidence that these technologies will be successful in their market and result in energy savings for their customers.”

Ontario Home Builders’ Associations in London, Sudbury, Hamilton-Halton, Niagara and the Greater Toronto Area, have embraced the LEEP and TAP initiatives. “Code 2012 is bringing advanced construction methods to the norm” said Michael Kennedy, Pinewood Niagara Home Builders, “participating in LEEP and TAP advances knowledge and building techniques to another level. The technologies/products we chose are cost effective and tangible for the new home purchaser.”

Building consultants, product suppliers and trade contractors are working together with TAP builders to ensure the technologies are successfully installed. “For over a decade, Union Gas’ energy-efficiency programs have helped our business customers make smart investments in energy-efficient equipment and technologies,” said Mel Ydreos, vice-president of marketing and customer care at Union Gas. “The TAP initiative is a great example of moving energy efficiency to the next level by identifying the next generation of technologies that can help customers significantly reduce energy costs while also reducing their environmental footprint.”

“TAP is a brilliant program and Enbridge is proud to partner with Ontario builders to not only share what we know, but to accelerate the introduction of some pretty cutting-edge technology,” said Mary Harinck of Enbridge Gas Distribution.

Funding for the LEEP and TAP initiatives has been provided by Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, Enbridge Gas Distribution, and Union Gas.

NRCan’s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.