The City wants Edmontonians to be more aware of their home’s energy performance. Nearly 20% of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential buildings and if we are going to tackle climate change, we will need better tools to understand the energy we use in our daily lives. To this end, the City has developed a pilot program that will be launched in June 2017 that will help homeowners, potential home buyers, and REALTORs better understand the energy performance of Edmonton homes.
The program consists of two main components: The EnerGuide evaluation and label and a City operated, web-based sharing platform. Combining the EnerGuide for Homes evaluation with a powerful, user-friendly, publically accessible online mapping tool allows builders, buyers, sellers and home owners to compare their ratings to other homes across Edmonton. Just like any kind of label, from a nutrition label to a fuel efficiency sticker on a car, the EnerGuide label
helps consumers make informed decisions.
What is EnerGuide for Homes?
The foundation of the City’s program is the EnerGuide for Homes label, developed by the federal government. Just like the EnerGuide label on your fridge or your dishwasher, an EnerGuide for Homes label, identifies the relative energy performance of your home or a home that you are looking to purchase.
The EnerGuide for Homes process goes well beyond a simple label by also providing you with a detailed road map to improving that home’s energy efficiency. Improved energy efficiency means lower energy bills, better comfort and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are looking to buy a home, the EnerGuide can work a bit like a property inspection (but it doesn’t replace it!) in that it provides you with information on energy efficiency that is usually invisible.
A perfect example of the EnerGuide’s ability to make the invisible into something visible is the measurement of the home’s air tightness. Think of measuring air tightness as measuring how much warm air leaks from a house to the outdoors on a cold winter’s day. Air tightness is measured using a blower door test and reported as air exchanges per hour (how many times the entire volume of air in the home is replaced with fresh outdoor air each hour). The smaller the number, the tighter the home; and the less energy consumed to heat the home. A new built home is usually in the range of about 2.5 air exchanges or less per hour. Air tightness is a large contributor to a home’s energy performance and an integral part of the EnerGuide evaluation and label.
How do I Participate in the Pilot Program?
For more details on Edmonton’s program, visit the EnerGuide for Homes: Spot the Difference platform website at ace.edmonton.ca/energuide. The site provides information on the EnerGuide itself, where to get an EnerGuide evaluation, and also describes how to sign-up and share your label on the platform. The City is working quickly on developing various tools to support Edmontonians in this endeavour, so we encourage you to keep watch on the website for specific details as our launch date in June approaches!
Contributed by: Mike Mellross | Project Manager, City of Edmonton – Economic and Environmental Sustainability Branch
p. 780-442-2938 e. firstname.lastname@example.org