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What’s ENERGY STAR® for New Homes?

ENERGY STAR® for New Homes is Canada’s most successful green building program. ENERGY STAR® qualified homes are approximately 20% more energy efficient than those built to minimum building code requirements. In 2014, 32% of all homes in Ontario were ENERGY STAR® qualified.  More Ontario homes are being built as part of the program than ever before.

Take a look at what an ENERGY STAR® for New Homes home looks like!

Enroll your ESNH Version 12 home by August 31, build by 2019!

What are the benefits?

Energy savings every month and peace of mind are the two most important benefits a homeowner can count on when they buy an ENERGY STAR® qualified home. Homebuyers can also take satisfaction from the knowledge that saving energy means doing their part to lessen their family’s carbon footprint! An ENERGY STAR® qualified home is a high performance home that’s better for you and the environment.

How does ENERGY STAR® for New Homes work?

Smart builders register in the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes program, and design and build homes accordingly. An independent Energy Evaluator trained and certified by EnerQuality assesses the home’s energy efficiency and verifies it meets the requirements of the specifications. Based on this verification, EnerQuality certifies the home and issues the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label to be affixed to the home. This whole process is backed by the Government of Canada. And this label helps buyers make an informed decision and benefit from the advantages of owning an ENERGY STAR® home.


To earn the ENERGY STAR®, builders choose from many possible improvements to the home’s ‘building envelope’ and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, as well as ENERGY STAR® appliances and lighting. Typical upgrades include:


    Holes and cracks in the envelope are sealed to reduce heat loss from air leakage and minimize drafts, moisture, dust and pollen as well as outside noise.


     ENERGY STAR® homes have properly installed, floor, wall, attic and basement insulation, and more of it than what is required by Building Code.


    ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors and skylights reduce energy costs alone by more than 10%.


    Energy efficient furnaces, air conditioning units, hot water tanks or tankless systems, and bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans make for a more comfortable and less costly home.

  • ENERGY STAR® Products and Appliances

    Everything from light bulbs to appliances, make a difference. Look for the blue label! Each ENERGY STAR® qualified home has a minimum of 400 kWh of electrical savings.

  • What’s in it for builders?

    The ENERGY STAR® labels come with government backing and third-party certification. The improved quality control leads to fewer call-backs, defects and Tarion claims, allowing the builder to save money in the construction process.

    With rising costs of both homes and energy, homebuyers are increasingly becoming interested in green building, specifically high-performance building grounded in building science and proven technologies. By participating in The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes program, builders can provide their customers with 3rd– party certification that their home was carefully designed and built to use less energy.

    This saves homeowners money on their monthly energy bills, and builders benefit from fewer call-backs and complaints.

    MARKET DIFFERENTIATION AND RECOGNITION – ENERGY STAR® is a global brand synonymous with energy efficiency. Earning the certification automatically gives the builder a market advantage, as the public is aware of its reputation for quality construction and environmental stewardship.

    ENHANCED CUSTOMER SATISFACTION – The energy efficient features built into ENERGY STAR® qualified homes increase comfort and satisfaction, and these result in fewer homeowner complaints.

    PROGRAM FLEXIBILITY – The program allows for a variety of tried and tested products and strategies that builders choose from to meet the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes guidelines.

    CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – ENERGY STAR® qualified builders make a public statement about their company’s values: that they care about their customers and the communities they build. 

  • What’s in it for professionals?

    Proficiency in the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes program helps energy evaluators, engineers, architects, architectural technologists and HVAC designers earn their clients’ trust and distinguish themselves as leaders in energy efficient design. 

  • What’s in it for municipalities?

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING – ENERGY STAR® reduces household monthly bills – the second highest cost of home-ownership after the mortgage. This is especially beneficial for lower-income households who spend a higher proportion of their income on utility bills.

    LOWER UTILITY BILLS – ENERGY STAR® qualified homes reduces household monthly bills. This can be beneficial for low income populations who spend a higher proportion of their income on utility bills.

    GREEN JOBS AND INVESTMENT The construction of ENERGY STAR® qualified homes requires local professionals and trades with specialized skills, training and technology in design and construction. It also results in investment in manufacturing, retail and product distribution in local economies.

    THE PLACE TO BE – Communities of ENERGY STAR® qualified homes sends a powerful message to families, businesses and institutions that their community is a forward-thinking and progressive place to live, work and play.

    The average home is responsible for more than twice as much greenhouse gas emissions as the typical car. Municipalities can now play a significant role in controlling and reversing this trend. From educating citizens to working collaboratively with builders, ENERGY STAR®’s brand awareness and EnerQuality’s proven quality assurance process help policymakers realize energy savings and mitigate climate change while engaging their citizens.


    SAVE MONEY – ENERGY STAR® qualified homes use substantially less energy.

    PEACE OF MIND – Performance-tested, 3rd-party verified and government-backed, an ENERGY STAR® qualified home is your proof of an energy efficient home.

    COMFORT – Advanced construction practices, better ventilation and more insulation means ENERGY STAR® qualified homes are comfier, quieter and fresher.

    SMART INVESTMENT – ENERGY STAR® is becoming a must-have for savvy homebuyers – something to consider when you sell your home.

    GREEN – ENERGY STAR® qualified homes generate 2 to 3 tons less greenhouse gas emissions per year than homes built just to code.

    Owners of ENERGY STAR® qualified homes save money. They enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their home is designed, built and 3rd-party verified to be energy efficient. And they feel good because they are doing the right thing for the environment.

    * Products and features may vary by builder


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What is ENERGY STAR for New Homes and who created it?

EnerQuality, in collaboration with the federal government and the homebuilding industry, developed and piloted the program in 2005. Today, it is administered by Natural Resources Canada and adopted by progressive builders across Canada. Performance tested, third party verified and government backed – the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label assures new homebuyers that their home is built to a high standard of energy efficiency.

What is an ENERGY STAR qualified home?

An ENERGY STAR qualified home is designed, built and verified to be approximately 20% more energy efficient than a home built to minimum building code. ENERGY STAR® qualified homes are the smart choice for homeowners looking for a new home that is energy efficient.

Isn’t an ENERGY STAR qualified home more expensive?

No, not necessarily. Most ENERGY STAR® qualified builders include the additional energy saving features into the price of the home, and improved standards and technology have lowered the cost of energy efficient construction to only slightly above Code. Given the fact that energy costs rank as the second largest overall monthly expense, the features pay for themselves (and more), with every day energy savings of approximately 20%. And when you use 20% less… you pay for 20% less. Imagine no energy bills for three months!

Why should a home be ENERGY STAR qualified?

Your ENERGY STAR® label is proof that the home is energy efficient and therefore meets a high performance specification of quality.

Who certifies the homes?

EnerQuality verify that homes meet ENERGY STAR® requirements. Its network of Certified Energy Evaluators are trained, contracted and audited by EnerQuality to conduct on-site verification to ensure that ENERGY STAR® For New Homes specifications are met.

What does a certified evaluator do?

Certified Energy Evaluators work closely with builders to help achieve ENERGY STAR® guidelines. They provide technical support to builders, conduct site visits and verify compliance.

How do I become a Certified Energy Evaluator?

Please contact EnerQuality.

What types of homes can qualify for ENERGY STAR® certification?

New low-rise homes.

What does an ENERGY STAR® home look like?

Take a look!