In order for a new home to be ENERGY STAR® qualified, it must be built to ENERGY STAR® for New Homes technical specifications by a licensed ENERGY STAR® for New Home Builder.
New houses that receive the ENERGY STAR® label are more environmentally responsible and are approximately 25-30% more energy efficient than conventionally built homes and the differences are even more striking when put side-by-side with resale homes.
By purchasing an ENERGY STAR® qualified home, you can have all the features you desire in your new home, plus better performance and lower utility bills – all while helping prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
To qualify for ENERGY STAR® status, builders select from a series of building options that will improve the home’s construction in the building envelope (walls, insulation, windows, doors, roofing) and mechanical systems (high-efficiency furnaces, air conditioners coupled with heat recovery systems). The program also encourages the use of ENERGY STAR® qualified products, including light bulbs and fixtures; major appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines; and kitchen and bathroom ventilation systems for improved indoor air quality.
Since most ENERGY STAR® improvements are invisible to the naked eye, homes can earn the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label only after on-site testing, inspection and verification by a neutral, third-party and independent certified energy evaluator.
EnerGuide for New Homes Rating System
You are probably familiar with the EnerGuide Rating Service that’s been used for quite some time to help consumers understand the energy-efficient options available in major appliances, heating and air conditioning systems. This Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) label-neutral rating system can also be applied to homes to evaluate their overall energy efficiency.
The EnerGuide Rating Service for new homes rates the energy efficiency of a new home on a scale from 1 to 100, and compares its energy performance with other rated houses of a similar size. A rating of 0 represents a home with major air leakage, no insulation and extremely high energy consumption. A score of 80 or higher is a good energy-efficiency target and 91 or more is a superior home in terms of energy efficiency. A rating of 100 represents a house that is airtight, well insulated, sufficiently ventilated and requires no purchased energy on an annual basis. A new home built to national building code standards would have a rating of 65-72, whereas an ENERGY STAR® home would have a rating of 80 or higher.