We all know that the best way to save money on your energy bills is to use less energy. With an energy efficient home, the savings can really add up over time. That’s why energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important for homeowners and homebuyers alike. But how do you know how energy efficient a home really is? While many features of a home are obvious, like hardwood floors and granite countertops, energy efficient features like insulation in the walls and air sealing are not so easy to see. That’s where a home’s energy rating or “energy score” comes into play.
“Knowing the score” starts with a home energy audit.
To get your home’s energy score, you’ll need to have an energy audit completed by a Certified Energy Auditor. Once the energy audit is completed, you’ll be given an energy score using the Natural Resources Canada EnerGuide Rating System. An EnerGuide rating is a standard measure of your home’s energy performance. Your home’s energy efficiency level will be rated on a scale of 0 to 100. A rating of 0 represents a home with major air leakage, no insulation and extremely high energy consumption. A rating of 80-90 represents a highly energy efficient house that is airtight, well insulated, sufficiently ventilated and incorporates highest efficiency equipment. The higher your score the better. For perspective, an EnerGuide Rating of 75 is considered excellent, and 66-74 is considered “very good.”
What happens during a home energy audit?
The Certified Energy Auditor will evaluate and test how energy efficient your home is, and will determine where and how energy is being used in your home. Once you’ve received your current home energy score, the Certified Energy Auditor will then provide you with recommendations for improvements that can maximize your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your energy bills, increase home comfort – and ultimately improve your energy score.
Get the score and get rewarded with Enbridge’s energy conservation programs.
If you’re in the market to purchase or sell a home, consider taking advantage of the Enbridge Home Rating Program. For qualifying homebuyers purchasing a resale home in Enbridge’s franchise area, Enbridge will provide you with a free energy audit (valued at $350). Home sellers who then include their home energy rating or energy label on the MLS listing and/or the home’s marketing material can get a $100 Lowe’s gift card and an Energy Savings Kit (chrome low-flow showerhead, programmable thermostat, compact florescent light bulbs, kitchen and bathroom aerators).
Realtors can benefit from the Home Rating Program as well. Brokerages committed to increasing awareness of the value of home energy ratings in the real estate community can receive valuable incentives from Enbridge – such as continuing education credits, reimbursement for costs related to marketing an energy rated home, home energy-related seminars, conferences and/or awards and co-branding advertising opportunities.
If you’re planning to renovate your home, then you may be interested in the Enbridge Community Energy Conservation Program. Available in select communities within the GTA, York Municipalities, Ottawa and Niagara areas, it rewards qualified homeowners for completing a minimum of two energy upgrades recommended by a Certified Energy Auditor. Incentives are up to $1,600 for achieving 25%-49% in annual gas savings and up to $2,000 for achieving 50% and above in annual gas savings. This program makes it easy and affordable for participants to understand and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, lower energy bills and lessen their home’s impact on the environment. For full terms and conditions on these Enbridge programs, please visit www.knowyourenergyscore.ca