High performance, energy efficient homes

Built-in comfort, quality and peace of mind

Homes built to national performance standards are designed and built to be more energy efficient and comfortable. They have a tightly sealed structure, which results in less air leakage and a balanced fresh air supply for the entire home. Energy-efficient technologies and products are also installed throughout the home to reduce overall energy usage.  

Other features include:

  • Efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of your home.
  • A heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) that improves your home's ventilation and reduces dust, pollen and other allergens – making it a healthier place for your family.
  • High-performance ENERGY STAR® double and triple glazed windows, patio doors, and skylights that make your home more comfortable all year round by keeping the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
  • Insulation in ceilings and walls that is effective in helping to prevent wasted heated, which can add to your heating costs.
  • A variety of ENERGY STAR appliances that will reduce your electricity use and help you save on your utility bills.

Rating high performance homes

A home's energy efficiency and performance level is measured using the EnerGuide rating system, which rates a home’s energy performance by comparing it to a code built “reference home” and is expressed in GJ/year. The lower the number, the less energy the home is estimated to use.

See our visual guide for how the different performance levels stack up.

ENERGY STAR® certified homes

An ENERGY STAR® certified home is about 20% more efficient and offers a practical and cost-effective option if you want new home that is energy efficient and provides increased comfort and health.

R-2000 homes

R-2000 homes are about 50% more efficient than a code-built home built while offering increased comfort, health and environmental advantages.

Net-zero homes

A home that achieves a 'net-zero' rating is an air-tight and well-insulated home that can generate enough renewable energy on-site to offset the amount energy the home uses over a one year period. These homes are considered up to 80% more efficient than a home built to code.

Other programs and labels

In addition to recognizing new homes that achieve high performance using the EnerGuide rating system, there are organizations that operate in certain areas within Canada with their own programs and labels.

The private not-for-profit association Built Green Canada is available in Alberta, B.C., and Ontario, and covers energy use, water conservation, indoor air quality and sustainable materials. Passive House Canada is an affiliate of the International Passive House Association and a member of the North American Passive House Network, and focuses on a building's energy efficiency and reducing its ecological footprint.