Fenestration Amendment to ESNH V172017 - EnerQuality

Fenestration Amendment to ESNH V172017

News Fenestration Amendment to ESNH V172017

NRCan is piloting an exemption to allow the use of non-ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration in some ENERGY STAR® certified homes provided certain criteria are met. This will apply to performance path only. Please make sure you read and understand all the requirements in the bulletin below and documents attached.

Bulletin from Natural Resources Canada:


A formal change request was submitted to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) related to ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration in some ENERGY STAR® certified homes.  Concerns included overheating as well as affordability and availability of low solar heat gain ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration. In response to these concerns, NRCan is piloting an exemption to allow the use of non-ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration in some ENERGY STAR® certified homes provided certain criteria are met.

Background and Rationale

Currently, the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes (ESNH) Standard Version 12 (Version 17 Ontario) requires ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration as a minimum requirement as a means of ensuring third-party certification of energy performance.

Some ENERGY STAR® stakeholders have identified an issue with overheating and air conditioning costs associated with some ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration in certain climate zones that have higher summer temperatures and solar indices. Although, ENERGY STAR® certified low-solar heat gain fenestration does exist, it often costs 10-30% more than other ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration products. Availability is also an issue as the number of models declines with colder climate zones.


ESNH Standard Version 12.8 and Version 17.0 Ontario will be amended by including a new section Fenestration in Performance Homes to reflect the pilot exemption allowance for fenestration.

The exemption will be allowed under the following circumstances:

·         Homes complying under the Performance Approach only;

·         Homes being built in regions <5000 Heating Degree Days (HDD);

·         Homes with a maximum Air Changes per Hour (ACH) of 2.5 (detached) or 3.0 (attached) (note: Normalized Leakage Area (NLA) or Normalized Leakage Rate (NLR) cannot be used for compliance);

·         Fenestration products used must have a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of ?0.3 and a U-factor ?1.60 W/(m²·K) (0.28 Btu/h·ft.2·°F); and

·         Fenestration products used must be third-party certified for energy performance and listed on a publicly available database (ENERGY STAR® Canada, National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), CSA Group or Intertek).

Other conditions that the builder must satisfy in order to apply the exemption are as follows:

1.    Builders must always make home buyers aware that some or all fenestration in their ENERGY STAR® certified home is not ENERGY STAR® certified.

2.    In addition, if the fenestration installed is ENERGY STAR® certified for a lower zone than that in which it is installed, the ENERGY STAR® label must be removed prior to the home buyer taking possession in order to reduce any possible confusion.

Further, the following key message cannot be used in the marketing material if the exemption is being applied: “Homeowners of ENERGY STAR® qualified homes built to the 2012 Standard will benefit from features such

1.    as 400 kWh per year in electrical savings, heat recovery ventilators and ENERGY STAR® certified windows”.

The exemption will be run as a pilot to provide flexibility for builders and increased comfort for homeowners, while also allowing NRCan to collect performance data in order to evaluate the change and inform future policy decisions.

The exemption comes in force immediately and will remain in place pending evaluation of the pilot. A program bulletin will be issued prior to the conclusion of the pilot to provide advance notification to ESNH stakeholders.

These changes will be incorporated into the next release of the ESNH Standard.

As necessary, this change will also be reflected in future releases of other ESNH procedural documents.


Supporting documents are below. For additional questions, contact EnerQuality Certifications Manager Christephanie Uy.

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