Energy Affordability in a Home

Posted 2015-01-28
Written by
Category Household

Living in the Northwest Territories (NWT) is expensive, and the cost of owning a home can place a significant strain on the finances of many families in the NWT. Home ownership includes the purchase amount, financing costs, property taxes, maintenance/repairs and the utility/energy costs. In many situations, the annual utility/energy costs can be almost as much as the mortgage payment. For this reason, residential Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation are both very important when assessing the affordability of residency in the NWT.

The City of Yellowknife has a Building Bylaw requiring builders of all new residential housing to achieve a minimum EnerGuide Rating of 80. In order to receive a building permit, the builder must first present an EnerGuide plan file assessment analyses and report indicating the expected rating of the house, based on the information contained in the building plans, the mechanical and ventilation systems the builder plans to install, and an assumed air leakage rate. If the house is not expected to achieve an 80, upgrade recommendations are provided that will bring the house up to (and exceed) the minimum 80. The Arctic Energy Alliance (AEA) is a licensed Service Organization with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to provide the EnerGuide for New Homes evaluation service.

Evaluating the house from a set of plans is only the beginning. With a building permit issued and construction underway, the AEA team of Energy Management Specialists provide many free services to builders (construction advice, review of building materials performance, comparison of mechanical system efficiency, a pre-drywall blower door test to check for air leakage). Once the house construction is complete and ready for occupancy, it’s time for the final “as-built” assessment to determine the EnerGuide rating of the house, provide a report and rating label for the house, and have it registered with NRCan.

An EnerGuide for New Homes evaluation is offered by the AEA on a fee-for-service basis, and we will strive to accommodate builders in all NWT Communities.  Please contact our office well in advance of your construction project so we can work with you on a plan towards Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation.

The AEA continues to offer our Existing Home energy evaluation program at a subsidized rate of $150 + GST (same price for all 33 NWT Communities).

Let us help you to reduce your utility/energy bills, and increase the “Energy Affordability” of your home. Click here to review the many programs and services we offer.