If you’re looking to buy a new home, there are a number of ways to find an energy efficient home. Look for homes that are certified as a Passive House, Built Green, or with Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) EnerGuide Rating System or ENERGY STAR® certificate and label (usually placed on the home’s electrical panel). An ENERGY STAR® certified home meets the ENERGY STAR® standard for enhanced energy efficiency. On average, an ENERGY STAR® certified new home will be 20% more efficient than a home built to code.

According to NRCan, typical features of an ENERGY STAR® home include:

  • Efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy, reduce indoor humidity and improve the overall comfort of your home.
  • High-performance ENERGY STAR® windows, patio doors, and skylights that keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
  • Walls and ceilings insulated beyond what is required by the building code.
  • A variety of ENERGY STAR® products that use less electricity by meeting strict technical specifications.
  • A heat or energy recovery ventilation system (HRV or ERV) that ensures your home has controlled ventilation.

Another way to gauge a home’s energy efficiency is by asking the seller if they’ve conducted an EnerGuide home evaluation. If so, ask to see the EnerGuide home label to get a better sense of the home’s annual energy consumption.  You can also ask the seller if the home has energy efficient or ENERGY STAR® products.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.