Action Plan for Net Zero Energy Housing in Canada Takes Next Step
On September 29, 2015 the CHBA launched a Pilot of the Association’s Net Zero Energy (NZE) Labelling Program - continuing CHBA’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program will provide the industry with a clearly defined yet rigorous 2-tiered (NZE and NZE Ready) technical standard that will distinguish and recognize builders and renovators and their NZE homes. To encourage high levels of industry adoption (even with production builders) the program is striving to keep the administrative process simplified. The Pilot will be used to validate both administrative as well as technical details prior to launching “version 1” of the Program in 2016.
Builder and renovator members who want to be part of this exciting development will take training as part of the qualification process. This will help get the necessary knowledge in to the hands of early adopters and accelerate the capacity of builders and renovators to achieve NZE.
A network of CHBA NZE Qualified Service Organizations, Energy Advisors and Trainers is being established to work directly with the builders and renovators to design, model, test and inspect the homes, as well as to deliver the training.
To build awareness and understanding of the value of NZE homes and to stimulate market demand, Marketing and Communications initiatives (including the development of a NZE brand, and sales and marketing tools for the builders and renovators) are being developed, with the goal of launching these in conjunction with the full “version 1” of the Program in 2016. To address the initial cost of NZE homes, the development of innovative and effective financing mechanisms are also being explored.
The CHBA supports innovation in our industry with the goal of creating a market advantage for builder and renovator members pursuing Net Zero Energy performance. This Program will help to meet the housing aspirations of Canadians, and renew Canadian leadership in high performance housing.
“Our National Home Buyer Preference Study confirmed that consumers want and expect an energy efficient home. Our members have a long history in delivering high performance homes and are ready and eager to deliver the next generation of high performance housing to discerning Canadian home buyers. Our Net Zero Energy Labelling Program will provide third party confirmation for both the industry and the consumer.”
Kevin Lee, CEO, Canadian Home Builders’ Association
Webinar: Introduction to the CHBA NZE Labelling Program Pilot
This webinar provided an introduction to the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) NZE Labelling Program Pilot. The following topics were covered:
- Becoming a CHBA NZE Qualified Builder/Renovator
- The technical requirements for a CHBA NZE Qualified Home
- How to find a CHBA NZE Qualified Service Organization
- Who can be a NZE Qualified Energy Advisor and Trainer
- After the Pilot; version 1 of the NZE Labelling Program
Andy Oding, Chair of the CHBA Net Zero Energy Housing Council, and Sonja Winkelmann, Director of Net Zero Energy Housing at the CHBA co-presented this informative webinar on November 24th, 2015.
View the slide deck here. The webinar recording can be accessed here.
A Full Spectrum of Market Offerings
The CHBA supports a full spectrum of voluntary energy performance levels to provide Canadians with higher performing homes. These programs present a complete market offering that is applicable to custom and production homes, renovations and low-rise MURBs.
The CHBA NZE Labelling Program has been designed so that a home could still qualify for NZEr, R-2000, or ENERGY STAR® if NZE isn’t achievable for one reason or another.
This diagram shows the increasing energy performance levels:
Compliance with the most current Building Code is required by law for all new homes. The Canadian Building Code continues to increase the minimum energy performance requirements and is updated approximately every 5 years.
Energy Star homes are 20% more energy efficient than homes built to code, R-2000 homes are 50% more energy efficient than homes built to code, and NZE ready homes are approximately 80% more energy efficient than homes built to code. Due to the energy production that is part of a NZE home, its energy performance is 100% better than homes built to code.
National Home Buyer Preference Study
In 2015 the first nationwide market preference study for the home building industry was conducted. The CHBA report, produced in partnership with Avid Ratings Canada, provides in-depth insight into what homes buyers are looking for – and demonstrates the importance of energy efficiency to today’s homebuyers. 1,581 new homeowners across six provinces of Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB) participated in the study.
The top 10 “Must Have” home features identified by the study participants:
- Walk-in closets
- Energy efficient appliances
- Overall energy efficient home
- High-efficiency windows
- Kitchen islands
- Linen closets
- Open concept kitchens
- Large windows
- 2-car garage
- Walk-in pantry
These study results confirm that homeowners expect energy efficient homes. Canadians want their homes to be as tough as they are; to be able to endure Canadian winters with ease!
CHBA members will meet the housing aspirations of Canadians, and renew Canadian leadership in high performance housing by offering consumers a “made in Canada” solution: NZE homes!
When asked to rate the level of importance of home energy certification by a designated program:
- 48.7% of respondents consider this a must have feature
- An additional 28.8% rate it as a really want item
- Only 6.0% of respondents feel this is not important
Order the complete report here.