EnerQuality’s new Director of Development Sarah Margolius moderated a builder panel at QUEST’s “Marketing Energy Efficiency in Canadian Homes” webinar last month. A special thanks to Eric Campbell, A/ Director of Programs and Services, QUEST Canada, Sonja Winklemann, Director, CHBA Net Zero Energy Housing, as well as our panelists Jennifer Weatherston of Reid’s Heritage Homes, Terra Davidson of Avalon Master Builder, Les Wold of Effect Homes, and John Armadeil of Builder Advertising and Marketing .
Ms. Winkelmann presented the results of a recent CHBA Home Buyer Preference Study by Avid Ratings Canada. The study showed that energy efficiency was one of the top ‘Must Have’ home features by respondents, and that the overwhelming majority rated home energy certification such as ENERGY STAR®® as either ‘Must Have’ or “Really Want.” This is consistent from what we hear from our builder community: third party certification, which is embedded in all of EnerQuality’s voluntary energy efficiency programs, is important to instilling consumer confidence.
The panel format gave participants a chance to hear from some of Canada’s most innovative high performance home builders and marketers, and their insights were informative. Each of the featured builders answered the question in their own way, drawing on their own experience constructing high performance homes. For some, the motivation to build to a higher performance standard comes from an expression of corporate values. Others cited the end result benefit of a healthier home and enhanced asset value.
Everyone agreed that having the right sales team in place to communicate consumer benefits was important. Having clear, consistent and consumer-friendly language targeted to the builder’s specific demographic of customers was key. Affordability was indicated as an important consideration for many production home buyers.
The incremental cost of building a higher performance home is steadily falling. As a result, Net Zero and Net Zero Ready construction is gaining appeal among a new generation of builders. As the #1 certifier of energy efficiency homes in Canada, it is important to hear from builders on what is important. Thank you to CHBA and QUEST for hosting this important discussion, and inviting EnerQuality to moderate a national panel of exceptional builders, and an engaged audience.
EnerQuality is proud to support CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Labelling Program. Be among the first in Canada to receive builder training developed in alignment with this incoming program. Register now for Road to Net Zero AND Net Zero Ready Builder Training pilot October 6 & 7, 2015 in Toronto, instructed by CHBA Net Zero Council Chair Andy Oding, Building Knowledge Canada, and Tex McLeod, McLeod and Associates.
A second session will be offered November 25 & 26 in Ottawa featuring Ross Elliott of Homesol Building Solutions. Both training sessions also satisfy R-2000 Builder Training requirements. Your participation and feedback helps us ensure that we can support our builders and this new program most effectively. Registrations open now. Have questions? Contact EQ Development Specialist Aaron Short today.