Sure you recognize the blue Energy STAR® label, and you know it’s going to save you energy and money, but do you really know what that symbol means?
EnergyStar®, the international symbol of energy efficiency, was introduced to Ontario by Natural Resources Canada and EnerQuality Corporation as a pilot program in 2005. Designed to make it easy for businesses and consumers to save money and protect the environment, the ENERGY STAR® mark indicates that the product meets a premium level of energy efficiency and is among the most energy efficient in its class. These include major appliances, residential heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, consumer electronics, windows and doors, lighting and commercial equipment.
An ENERGY STAR® qualified home is a home that has been built by a licensed ENERGY STAR® for New Homes builder who incorporates these premium energy efficient features into
the home. These features include heating and cooling systems, windows, glass doors, lighting and insulation. As homes are built, an Energy Advisor verifies that they have been built to these specifications. To be labelled under the strict requirements of the ENERGY STAR® program, homes are both Performance Tested and 3rd Party Verified.
After the verification process is complete, the Energy Advisor informs their service organization who issues an ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label and certificate for the house. The label is usually placed on the home’s electrical panel.
In 2009 Geranium Homes made the commitment to construct all future communities to ENERGY STAR® for New Homes specifications. Now, more than 1000 homebuilders have signed up under Natural Resources Canada’s initiative and have designed and constructed over 30,000 ENERGY STAR® qualified homes.
In 2012, EnerGuide established a new set of criteria with the rating of 83, presenting a further challenge to builders who want to continue to build homes of superior efficiency. ENERGY STAR® 2012 initiative is the next responsible step in energy-efficient new home design and construction. The program promotes a variety of energy efficient guidelines that, when implemented, enable new homes to be approximately 20% more energy efficient than those being built to current Ontario building codes. The result is a home that’s designed better and built better from the ground up. Geranium Homes once again took the leadership role when it comes to building new homes and communities and committed without hesitation to adopting the new 2012 standards
“ENERGY STAR® qualified homes represent the top 20% of low-rise construction in Ontario. It is one of the most recognized brands in the world and has become synonymous with energy efficiency and best in class,” says Al Schmidt, of A&J Energy Consultants.
Geranium is the first builder to enroll new homes under the next generation 2012 ENERGY STAR® at The Village of Sally Creek in Woodstock. “Industry standards keep getting better and better,” says Geranium’s Vice President of Housing, Louie Morizio. “The new rating involves a different set of options for builders to choose from in order to achieve this goal. These include installing more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems; windows, patio doors and skylights that comply with Canada’s requirements for ENERGY STAR-qualification; more insulation in the ceilings and walls; the meeting of specified air leakage limits to save on heating and cooling costs and increase comfort; and a minimum savings of 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Home Owner Benefits
Owners of ENERGY STAR® homes benefit from lower heating and cooling costs (approximately 20% less than comparable non-Energy Star homes); a higher indoor air quality; and peace of mind that the home is third-party verified to ensure it meets the minimum ENERGY STAR® for New Homes standard.
What it boils down to is saving energy in your home and ultimately saving money.