New House
Energy Labeling Program

Reproduced from Canadian Homes and Cottages Magazine, 
Issue 2, 2004, with permission
June 2004

Ihen you build your home, energy efficiency is one upgrade that provides payback and keeps energy bills under control for years to come. EnerGuide for Houses* advice has been available to the retrofit market since 1998. Now, some new homebuilders are working with independent energy advisors before they build, to ensure that new homes are as energy efficient as possible.

(photo: EnerGuide)

EnerGuide for New Houses allows you to select energy upgrades for your new home from a range of energy improvement options. Independent advisors return to test your home when it's built, to ensure that the energy upgrades have been completed. Your home will get an EnerGuide label, like the one shown here, indicating energy performance and confirming that the builder has met his/her commitment to making your home more energy efficient.

EnerGuide for New Houses Rating

The rating is a standard measure of energy performance in a home. Energy advisors calculate ratings, using information collected after analyzing building plans and from the results of a blower door test performed after the house has been built. The home's energy efficiency level is rated on a scale from 0 to 100.

The overall efficiency of new houses varies slightly across the country because of differences in local codes. The Canadian figures noted below may not accurately reflect your area. For a new house, your rating should be higher than 68 - a rating of 80 and up represents high achievement.

EnerGuide for Houses Ratings

Type of House Rating
Old house not upgraded 0 to 50
Upgraded old house 51 to 65
Energy-efficient upgraded old
or typical new house
66 to 74
Energy-efficient new house 75 to 79
Highly energy-efficient new house 80 to 90
House that uses little or no purchased energy (an Advanced House) 91 to 100

Homes in new subdivisions

Recently, some leading new home builders, such as builders who construct entire subdivisions, have been offering up to three levels of energy upgrade packages for some or all of their models. These packages are offered for a fee, just like any other upgrade. Upgraded houses come with an EnerGuide for Houses report and label.

In Alberta, Jayman Master Builder is among the first in western Canada to offer EnerGuide rated homes to its customers. In February, Jayman completed the first three homes to be labeled under the new program. Following the BuiltGreen Alberta approach, Jayman offers three energy efficiency option levels - bronze (achieving a minimum rating of 72), silver (a minimum rating of 75) and gold (a minimum rating of 77).

David Bengert, director of purchasing with Jayman, says the EnerGuide program represents a valuable verification aspect to BuiltGreen. "If you survey the public you'll see that there is a high level of trust in the government name associated with certain things. The testing and verification of energy efficiency is one of them."

Bengert says, "EnerGuide is flexible enough to allow you to achieve your rating through a wide variety of choices. We have 26 different combinations of ways to achieve silver or gold levels, each different, each differently priced. It all depends on what the customer wants."

Jayman recently committed to building all its houses (1,400 this year) to the BuiltGreen Bronze level. "Energy efficiency is only one of seven specification categories in a BuiltGreen house," says Bengert. "Clients can select from over 160 items covering indoor air quality, water conservation, waste management and recycled materials as optional upgrade components of the package."

Contact EnerGuide for Houses

To find out more information on EnerGuide for Houses for new houses, visit and choose Building your new home.

The New Brunswick Home Builders
is the delivery agent for the
EnerGuide for New Houses program
in New Brunswick:

* EnerGuide for Houses is an official trademark of Natural Resources Canada.
Used with permission.