Home Energy Labelling Developing Prominence in Real Estate

From the LiveSmart BC - Blog

Also read the CRD's Media Release 

August 8, 2011

Free Home Energy Assessments in the CRD when “EnerGuide for Houses” efficiency label posted on MLS®

EnerGuide for Houses

Labelling, labelling, labelling!

Everyone is talking about it: whether it’s organic food, energy star appliances, fuel efficient cars… but what about our homes?  Over 76 per cent of our home energy use goes to heating and hot water – making the energy efficiency of our home a big factor in both greenhouse gas emissions and monthly utility bills.

In response to consumer demand for knowing the energy efficiency of a home before buying – and supporting the Province’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets – the Ministry of Energy and Mines, BC Hydro, the Victoria Real Estate Board, Capital Regional District and participating municipalities are launching a pilot project to make it easy for both sellers and buyers to share this information through a voluntary labelling system called EnerGuide for Houses.

For a limited time, residents of the Capital Regional District that are selling their homes are eligible for a $150 rebate towards an energy assessment that will provide them with an EnerGuide for Houses rating to include in their listing on the Multi-Listing Service (MLS®) website. An EnerGuide rating is a measure of a home's overall energy performance and is comparative to other homes that are similar in age and location providing an accurate picture of the energy efficiency of the home.

But, what are the benefits of labelling your home?  Plenty...

  • If your home has a high rating, congratulations!  You get bragging rights and it can add value: increasing the marketability of your home.
  • If your home has a low rating, no problem.  Your energy assessment report clearly shows the most cost effective and beneficial upgrade options for the home as well as the cash incentives from both Federal and Provincial rebates that you can access to make upgrades.
  • If you choose not to make upgrades before selling, no problem again... You can transfer the assessment report and cash incentives to your buyer!  Your potential buyers will appreciate this transparency and access to the incentives for making upgrades.

There are also social, economic and environmental benefits of home energy labeling such as:

  • reduced carbon emissions
  • improvement of indoor air quality
  • helping to create a ‘conservation culture’
  • reduced need for energy supply infrastructure
  • increased household spending power by reducing energy bills
  • stimulated local employment in home energy retrofit sector
  • establishes energy efficiency in the mainstream real estate market

Although labelling is voluntary in Canada, one million homes in Canada already have an EnerGuide label.  There are jurisdictions with mandatory labelling in Europe, Australia and the USA.

This pilot will inform provincial policy on home energy labelling at the time of sale, going forward.

Tell us what you think about home energy labelling by: