Discussion 4 – Building Energy Labelling Requirement (Improving Buildings)



Building Energy Labelling Requirement

Most of us wouldn’t buy a car without knowing how much fuel it uses. Why not have the same information available for homes and other buildings?

The Province is considering an energy efficiency labelling requirement, allowing prospective buyers and tenants to:

  • Compare the energy performance of buildings and homes,
  • Understand the full costs of renting in cases where utilities are not included,
  • Consider the value of investing in energy-efficiency improvements.

Under this proposal, buildings would undergo an assessment and be given an energy efficiency rating, which would be disclosed when the property was listed for sale or rent. A labelling requirement would also:

  • Encourage owners to invest in energy efficiency, and
  • Provide data that could be used to estimate the efficiency of existing buildings and support future program design.

This has been done successfully in other places. For example, in Scotland, there is a requirement to provide an Energy Performance Certificate to potential buyers or tenants whenever a property is built, sold or rented. In addition to providing information to consumers, the data supported the design of energy efficiency programs targeted to the greatest need.

Questions:

  • How valuable would energy labeling be in helping you understand energy use and utility costs in a home or building you might purchase or rent?
  • How should that information best be presented to make it clear and consistent?
  • Do you think there should be separate approaches for homes and large buildings?

Sort

54 responses to “Discussion 4 – Building Energy Labelling Requirement (Improving Buildings)

    User avatar
    [-] Chris

    I’m encouraged by the number of comments on these topics – BC is engaged!

    I’m very supportive of the Labelling requirement, I used to live in the UK ten years ago and this was already in practice. Helpful for potential owners to see what they are getting into, and also allows people who have invested in energy efficient upgrades or construction to quantify this for potential home buyers.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Ralph

    Energy labelling of buildings should include an explicit commitment to explore energy labelling for Part 3 residential buildings.
    – Labelling should include a carbon intensity metric. To achieve the Intentions goal of “Clean” buildings, carbon emissions need to be treated explicitly, and not treated as an implicit co-benefit of energy efficiency
    – For Part 3 residential buildings, energy and carbon intensity benchmarking should be an explicit and priority objective of a Clean, Efficient Buildings strategy.
    BC has shown leadership by implementing a performance based Energy Step Code, but without benchmarking, the effectiveness of the code will not be known. Just as importantly, benchmarking will provide building owners and managers with a transparent signal on building energy and carbon performance, supporting investments in improving building performance.
    The mechanism for benchmarking already exists with Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) supported by NRCan in Canada, and BC Hydro and FortisBC have developed automated reporting of utility data to ESPM. Finally, because ESPM provides an Energy Star score and Energy Star certification, ESPM benchmarking can effectively provide the basis of an energy labelling program.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Cathy

    Labelling is a good start but BC needs much more stringent Building Code regulations for commercial, industrial and residential buildings that would require energy efficient buildings and retrofitting. We need requirements for much better insulation for roofs, walls and triple pane windows as well as requirements for heat exchangers and geothermal sources of energy.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Nara

    The energy efficiency labelling requirement on homes is an intriguing idea. Currently, there is no one on the Sunshine Coast certified to do a Home Energy Audit. They must be called in from the city, and so the $150 rebate for the Energy Coach Home Evaluation is not enough to offset the cost and take advantage of the rebates. More people need to be trained but until then, perhaps travel to the Coast and other rural communities and islands could be subsidized for the Energy Advisor to make monthly inspection tours. Then, they could be booked on hourly rates as if they were local.

    0
    1
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] peter

    This would be highly valuable. The information should be published in an online register such as the Markit Registry for energy projects and carbon offsets. Large buildings require more detailed information because they have different types of spaces and energy intensive systems.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Mohammad

    There is a saying “What gets measured, gets done”. In order to get to Zero Emission Building we first need to create a habit of effective measuring. Therefore we fully support this incentive.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Judith

    Fully support energy labelling for both rentals and buildings for sale (I am a landlord as well as home owner). For rentals, this should apply where the renter pays energy costs (otherwise not helpful for their decision.) This should be combined with raising awareness among realtors and the public on what this information means and how they can use it in their purchase/rental decisions.

    The energy labelling should include blower door tests, but also related information such as solar installations, heat pumps, LED lighting, etc. It would be helpful to require the last 2 years of energy and water bills (or estimate for new builds).

    The Province should invest in training for more certified energy advisors, and provide a subsidy for home energy assessments (similar to the LiveSmartBC program) for at least the first 3-5 years to help with transition.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Dr.

    Energy labels of buildings should be clearly visible from the street as an obvious signal to others in the neighbourhood and to home buyers, in order to encourage interest and demand in more energy efficient buildings. This is an example of “landscape messaging” which has been shown to work in reducing energy use in other areas (Sheppard, 2012). The government should consider partnering with cities to sponsor a design competition for highly visible but attractive designs demonstrating effective building retrofits that have been completed.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Dr.

    This is a great idea. It adds knowledge and transparency for the consumer and incentives energy-efficient buildings.

    One idea would be to find public funding for a new branch of public service that employs energy advisors. If not, create long-term contracts with energy advisors so that they have stable employment, proper training, and benefits.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Lee

    Energy information would be very useful in decisions about buying and renting. If possible, information could be presented on the percentage annual energy cost difference between the specific unit in question and the average energy cost of that category of housing. Also, the GHG emissions associated with that unit would provide information about fuel type and energy use. Simply presenting data in energy units is meaningless to most people. A second best to relative cost information would be a specific energy use number in relationship to the average unit in that housing category.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Giacomo

    I fully support this initiative as it would promote the building of more energy efficient buildings

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Brooke

    I have been an NRCan-licensed energy advisor for over ten years and thousands of house assessments. I wholeheartedly support more widespread labelling. Everyone, including builders, would benefit from giving home occupants a better understanding of the operation of their house.

    A major obstacle in mandatory labelling is the instability of the energy advising industry. Energy advisors have a huge attrition rate because of low job certainty, limited professional support, and poor labour standards as contractors (no health benefits, no vacation time, etc.). For ten years, I cycled from no work to more than I could handle over and over and over again.

    At the same time, energy advisors have very little oversight. Because we are paid by builders and homeowners, there is an incentive to focus our services on what our clients value, such as marketing tools or renovation advice. Surely some advisors would even be tempted to skew label results to favour their clients.

    To ensure quality labelling, you need skilled advisors with experience. To retain them, they will need job stability and competitive salaries. To ensure impartiality and commitment to high-quality modelling, move away from a fee-for-service model that incentivizes shortcuts.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] GV

    I support energy labeling. It should also have a GHG emission rating. And it should be used to help people understand the benefits financially and health and comfort-wise of buying a more efficient, low-carbon house, and used by lending institutions to help pay bigger capital costs for lower operating costs. Also I think the EnerGuide system for homes makes sense because so many people have already done it and we already have trained professionals with federal government oversight working in BC using it. Big buildings need some other system – I’m not an expert in that.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Louise

    I support this initiative. Ratings could be based on clear categories of information.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Donovan

    Energy labelling required for new builds, energy saving retrofits when funded with incentives (would be nice to see the BC Government work with the Federal government to re-implement incentive programs such as the ecoENERGY and the LiveSmart BC), and as described with respect to property sales and tenant changes has a lot of merit. An excellent foundation initiative to get people more engaged in considering and managing their personal energy use and patterns.

    The discussion paper is shy on details as to the program specifics, and funding. As for program specifics, I’m presuming this is to be EnerGuide rating or a variant to be aligned with the modelling being used for the BC Energy Step Code program? As for funding, I’m presuming some degree of government funding depending on the circumstances? Some more clarity on these aspects, along with total government funding being considered is something that I’d like to see.

    Regardless, I’d see this as a high priority within the framework of initiatives being discussed!

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Mary

    I think you need to be aggressive on getting energy efficiency in buildings:
    Rate their efficiency by 2021
    New buildings should be 0 carbon by 2024
    Oil heating buildings stopped by 2025

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Tim

    Energy labeling would be a great tool for life cycle costing of buildings. Projecting the info through utility bills would probably be the most effective method of communicating the info. Per capita calculations could also be valuable.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] brian

    you people overthink this stuff…you do know there is no reason to use natural gas in residential buildings…that still allowing natural gas to be installed is counter productive?

    the government should be banning silly natural gas fireplaces and deck firepits bc they don’t do anything but look pretty while emitting CO2.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Doug

    Rather than linking mandatory labeling to when individual strata units go on the market, would it work to require all multifamily strata buildings to get assessed and labeled (e.g. when they get a depreciation report), or is the difference between units within the building significant? Certainly the investment/upgrade decisions are made by the strata corporation as a whole.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Laurie

    Stop talking about it and get it done! It;s horribly overdue!

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Casey

    The Victoria Residential Builders Association has concerns with how energy labeling would be implemented, the criteria, costs etc. (eg) would a gas fueled home receive a lower rating than electric baseboard due to carbon? In addition, is it necessary to label a 60 year old home that has undergone zero retrofits? Clearly, the home is not anywhere near energy efficient & buyers would understand that. For example, do we really need to label the energy efficiency of a 60 year old car? In some cases, this appears to be creating more costly bottleneck bureaucracy than education. There are not nearly enough Certified Eneregy Advisors to do this widespread testing. Consumer education is important, but labeling every home may not be the most efficient way to educate the public. What alternatives have been explored? Keep in mind, Zillow which tracks housing and buyer preferences ranks energy efficient homes 13th after affordability #1, location #2, floor plan #3, bedrooms #4, schools #5 and so on. Keep this in perspective. We are already building new energy efficient homes. We need to retrofit the vast majority of housing stock with 10 to 40 air changes per hour. A reno tax credit is an investment in the right direction that actually delivers a result.

    0
    1
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Pembina

    We support the general vision outlined in the energy labelling section of the Clean, Efficient Buildings Intentions Paper. Labelling raises energy literacy and awareness, and helps consumers make informed purchase decisions based, at least in part, by the home’s energy performance and potential savings through retrofit. Our research shows that the depth and quality of upgrades and code compliance improve with labelling. A universal labelling program will level the playing field for leaders in the housing sector by raising the lowest level of accepted practice, which will accelerate market transformation to high performing buildings and market penetration of energy retrofits.
    Our recommendation: require energy labelling at point of sale and rental for homes and buildings and provide comprehensive reporting processes and a user-friendly reporting platform.
    For the Pembina Institute’s full submission, see: http://www.pembina.org/pub/bc-clean-growth-intentions

    4
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Ian

    House energy labelling is essential for buyers, renters, homeowners, utilities and policymakers to understand and reduce the energy costs & GHG emissions of homes & buildings. Consumers will be blindsided by rising energy costs and carbon pricing if this information is not available to inform their purchase, rental and renovation decisions.

    Requiring an EnerGuide label for both new and existing Part 9 housing is carefully designed to communicate housing performance & ways it can be improved for the general public It is already proven and well-supported, as the foundation of BCs Building Energy Step Code, and with nationwide federal support.

    Larger buildings should be required to benchmark & publicly report their energy use & GHG emissions, along with sufficient information to estimate energy costs. Seattle’s Ordinance 123226 & New York City’s LL84 are excellent North American examples.

    However, any house energy labelling or building benchmarking regulation should learn from the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive experience, & require that all real estate advertising disclose both a buildings energy score and GHG emissions intensity. This would allow prospective buyers & lessors to compare performance of their building and space options, providing a competitive driver for owners and operators to improve their building’s performance in ways that make most sense for their own situation.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] john

    Rule 1 – foster energy saving measures. Will labeling a home actually save energy? No, so don’t do it. Only energy saving devices, user awareness, and construction standards has the potential to save energy. So much effort and wasted government money will be required for the training, certification and management for home energy labeling.
    Put our tax dollars to better use, enable British Colombians to make a smarter choice by provide access to finance. Keep it simple with carbon tax and tax credits / rebates and low interest loans for home energy improvements, loans which are attached to the utility meter. The previously suggested Pay-As-You-Save BC scheme which was never implemented may be appropriate. Follow the link for PAYS-BC program details https://tinyurl.im/DAfGz

    0
    2
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Jae

    The European Union has successfully been requiring Energy Performance Certificates to be listed on buildings when they are for sale, rent or in public use since 2002. http://bpie.eu/publication/energy-performance-certificates-across-the-eu/

    Instead of expending vast resource and time we should copy their best practice and past it into our regulations. It is essential that the methodology is the same across all of Canada and as such training and standardization of methodology is needed. Such a program would require ample time for the building, engineering, architecture and certification sectors to gain understanding and competence.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Elena

    Energy labeling and benchmarking can be a very effective and transparent tool for a sustainable building and retrofit strategy. “You cannot manage what you cannot measure”, right?
    However, I am afraid this works better in theory than in real life.
    I have seen this in Germany where energy labeling is required in some cities and I would expect similar impacts in the Capital Regional District and the Lower Mainland where housing markets are tough.

    In areas where the housing market is very tough, enforcement of energy labeling / disclosure requirements often is problematic. If a homeowner, in the process of selling their home, does not have an energy label available at this time, I highly doubt that potential buyers would report them or request one. Home buyers are just happy when they are seriously considered to buy a home in a tough market like this and would unlikely “cause issues” with a homeowner.

    Hence in order to make energy labeling a requirement, enforcement would have to be addressed and ensured!

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Kate

    This would help increase awareness about/demand for good building design and construction and hopefully Passive Houses would become the norm rather than the exception.

    An Energy Performance Certificate sounds like a viable option. It would be good if the certificate were to include historical data from utility billing to support the assessment of existing buildings; otherwise, how could one be sure that the assessment was correct? What sort of liability is attached to these assessments?

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Michael

    Energy labelling could save me and others a great deal of money by being able to identify energy efficient homes to buy.

    Energy labels should indicate cost to run the home compared to some standard. Both square foot cost and total cost. Labels should be required on one front window of every new home for sale and realtors/owners selling homes be required to provide copies of the label to every person buying either new or old homes. There is no reason why rules should be different for non-residential except that more technical information may be appropriate for non-residential as one may assume a more educated buyer.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] John

    “Why not have the same information available for homes and other buildings?” OK so this is a joke, yes? I certainly hope so, since this type of program has been a loser from the very first one ever. Make buildings actually more efficient please not label them as wasteful and move on. The public has long been led to believe consumption goes down when appliances etc are more efficient but you just get a bigger fridge or a second one. NO WAY.

    1
    2
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] jim

    Fossil fuels are so cheap, nobody cares about usage from a financial standpoint. Add a meaningful carbon tax. And add energy consumption disclosure to every real estate transaction.

    4
    1
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Graham

    I would like to see requirements for new construction to make them easily adaptable to new energy grids such as local solar or wind farms.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Mark

    Introduce an energy guide labelling system for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings, as well as new single family homes. Mandate stricter efficiency standards (including incentives for Passivehaus) for new buildings, and provide rebates for retrofitting older units.

    3
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Carol

    The challenge with rating a home / business for it’s energy costs would be how that information is presented.
    Businesses and Homes should be separate.
    I suggest a monthly total of energy costs broken down from provider (gas, electricity) will reflect the costs in our extreme months of winter and summer.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Philip

    Any sort Energy Labelling or public disclosure used to display a building’s energy information needs to be focused solely on the building components themselves (size, building envelope, mechanical system, appliances, etc). Utility costs/ consumption data are too dependent on how the building’s occupants behave/ operate. E.g. some people keep their windows open in the winter and wonder why their heating bills are high…

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Robert

    Make it a letter (A to G) like other energy rating systems. Use a color to indicate the carbon-intensity of the energy source. Make the scale based on energy, not envelope demand, so that heat pump systems are rewarded as well. Make labeling obligatory for all new buildings, and for all existing buildings (including houses) being sold or rented, and for all existing commercial buildings > 600 m2. Make the label an obligatory part of the sales information provided to prospective buyers of any building. Align the system with other provinces and the EU, if possible. Lead the way by labeling all public-sector buildings first, and by demanding a minimum rating when requesting proposals for new public-sector buildings. Get the real-estate agencies on board, and promote the label as added property value. Do spot checks to ensure compliance, and fine a few who do not comply to show that these are the rules. Offer a web-based system for easy calculations and self-labeling for homes and small buildings.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Don

    I would find such labelling useful in encouraging more efficient construction.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Randall

    This would provide useful information to buyers although it may not be decisive for consumers. I wonder if this would be the best use of public funds to further the goal of reducing GGE.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Sharon

    More people are energy conscious than ever before, in my opinion. Energy labelling may well become a selling point for those considering purchasing a home or commercial building. It may well be a way of them aligning with their values in terms of reducing energy consumption/emissions.
    I’m wondering if there is a universal standard that is easily understood/interpreted by laypersons.

    4
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] John

    Since building a home which was evaluated for an energy idea label I have come to appreciate the standard more. The mathematics behind the calculation have been perfect in terms of evaluations our KWh/year consumption levels.
    Coupled with the introduction of an electric car for our rural living situation we have a predictable figure for our yearly budget of living expenses. The use of fossil fuels versus hydro is like comparing a roller coaster to a GIC.
    In the future it would be valuable for all hpusing to be labeled with an Energuide label, so families can effectively know what their living costs will be in the future.

    3
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] John

    I was referring to EnerGuide and did not notice the auto correct versions. As far as domestic versus industrial buildings, why should a different standard apply? Math is math.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Allen

    Simple energy labelling as they use in France would be very helpful (see link below). The Energy Certificate shows kWh and kg of Carbon for a given dwelling on a colour coded scale (for which a baseline is set by region).

    When looking to rent/buy a place, it is very clear and appealing to select properties which rate better on these scales (they really jump out at you due to their layout and colour coding).

    See Page 82 for example of Energy Certificate:
    https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/20130619-energy_performance_certificates_in_buildings.pdf

    3
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Jonathan

    Energy labeling is badly under-represented in BC and Canada. It has been required in the UK since 2004 and has caused a monumental shift in energy performance. The bottom line is that when someone is looking at a property (no matter whether residential, commercial etc) they can see how it performs and there is evidence that people are picking the more efficient properties (up to their price limit) as it saves them money.
    The best format in BC would be to follow Ontario’s labeling requirements using a standardised process with EnergyStar Portfolio Manager.
    I do think that there is a need to seperate Single Family and Townhomes as they function differently to MURBS and commercial – use Portfolio Manager for larger buildings and use http://www.rateourhome.ca for houses.

    3
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Jonathan

    I should have referenced EnerGuide for single family and townhomes!!

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] SeanP

    Simple energy scores like letter grades at school are useful in shaping consumer considerations and eventually decisions. That said, policy makers (including utilities and local governments) NEED the actual energy use data

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Kevin

    A label would have little value to me and just like the gas ratings on cars, most likely mislead me. There are other resources I would use to assess the energy efficiency.

    Second concern is who will be authorized to do the energy assessment. What credentials will they require. How will they be governed. Too open to scamming the system.

    An incentive program for homeowners to do energy retrofits would be welcome. This is more effective at increasing energy efficiency. It also makes the underground economy surface, thereby increasing tax revenues.

    Energy efficiency should be driven by the National Energy code for new buildings. Thereby using an existing infrastructure and not introducing new regulations. Provinces should work with national system of codes and promote uniformity where possible across Canada in order to have a robust supply chain of products and keep costs down. Deviation from the National system should only be considered when regional uniqueness demands it. NrCan has a plan for increasing energy efficiency in buildings through a series of amendments. Perhaps a labeling system for NEW housing that is designed through the national codes would make sense. This would bring uniformity across Canada.

    Provinces should get involved in NRC’s High Performance Buildings: Energy-saving retrofit technologies for commercial and institutional buildings research. https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ci-ic/en/article/v18n1-2/ These buildings by far consume the most energy.

    I do not live in Beautiful British Columbia. I am commenting as an industry stakeholder.

    1
    1
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Michael

    There is already a good system of energy efficiency assessments by qualified people functioning in this province. i have been through the process of assessment and making decisions on improvements with a friend on her house. I have also been program manager for an incentive program through a local government (funded by NRCan) that required assessments be done before grants could be provided. There was no scamming and the energy assessors really helped over 500 home owners make significant savings (some as much as 55% of their energy bills). These people are highly motivated to do a thorough job and provided excellent reports.

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Katherine

    I have a few concerns that don’t fall under the questions:

    1. If a homeowner wants to sell how long will it take to have the energy assessment in order to have the information available? It’s obviously something that can’t be done too far in advance as homeowners update their homes frequently. Sellers, typically want their home listed as soon as possible once they’ve made the decision to sell.
    2. How many “Energy Assessors” will there be for the province?
    3. Who is paying for the Assessment? – Is this going to be a forced cost to the Seller?
    4. Who is going to monitor all of the sales to ensure that the Energy Assessment has been completed and the information conveyed to the Buyer?
    5. Is the information just for the Buyers knowledge or will their be an expectation that any deficiencies be upgraded?

    1
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Cheryl

    Years ago we increased the energy efficiency of our home and received grants for Windows, doors, efficient furnace and hot water heater. Some of the grants were under the Live Smart program I believe. In the program we had the house assessed for it’s energy efficiency before and the after the upgrades and an energy rating sticker for our house was issued. I feel this will help with resale and support that idea.
    I feel all new homes should be required to have an energy label. I feel this would inspire more efficient construction and give buyers another tool to use in choosing a home.

    4
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Remi

    There should be separate approaches for homes and large buildings. Large buildings should report actual energy use and be subject to bench-marking. Homes should have their rating available on MLS and be disclosed to any purchasers. For renting, it might be more accurate to provide what the average tenant pays in the building. It’s important to explain how ratings might not translate to how much they consume.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] David

    One can also consider the degree to which a building’s demand is coincident with times when the electric generation mix uses less carbon. Buildings with high renewable-coincident demand should get a higher demand performance rating based on their relatively low contribution to carbon emissions from fossil-based electricity generation. In addition, buildings that use natural gas for heating would be encouraged to switch to electricity when it is based on renewable resources.

    0
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Gord

    I love this idea, off course it should be labelled, just like Energuide on appliances, so folks realize that operating costs are a HUGE aspect of life cycle costs!
    Moreover, lets start re-thinking and re-connecting how homes and businesses are built:
    1. Make parking an optional add on, rather than an assumed/required part.
    2. Use SMARTer Growth Neighborhood Planning and Design principles so we can walk, bike, bus more to do our school, shopping, work, doctors visits, recreating – why do we need to drive everywhere? Retrofit thru densification and more investment in compact, connected, coordinated communities well served by transit; developers/developments build in the middle of no where should have to pay for at least two years of transit service and more DCCs for maintenance of infrastructure.
    3. Get going on incentives to build more co-housing (cohousing.org / cohousing.ca) to help lonely seniors, first-time buyers, and students find more, and more affordable housing, as well as plugging into a socially diverse and well-balanced, complete community; co-housing would also allow for more efficient construction costs and off-set any increased Net Zero costs. Again, UBC is researching cohousing for Kelowna in partnership with BC Housing, IHA, City of Kelowna, Mammas for Mammas, and others!

    3
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Neil

    Absolutely label – Make past energy consumption for homes be included in real estate postings – this is essential consumer protection! Prevents the disconnect between the developer, who wants to minimize costs in construction only, and the user, who is concerned with lifetime cost.

    Presentation should show estimated costs, and additional costs/savings compared to a Code minimum new house of a similar square footage over the course of 1 year, and over a 25 year period (the standard length of a mortgage) to show the real, lifetime cost.

    Charts help.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] Ian

    Q: How valuable would energy labelling be in helping you understand energy use and utility costs in a home or building you might purchase or rent?
    My comments: Energy labelling is essential for buyers, owners, renters and occupants to make informed decisions about the energy costs of homes and buildings; without this information there is little public awareness or understanding of the resource and environmental impacts of the built environment.

    Q: How should that information best be presented to make it clear and consistent?
    My comments: providing a score (e.g. EnerGuide, LEED, etc.) or consumption data alone is unlikely to benefit most people, as few are currently aware of or have any context or background understanding of these impacts. If people are to be equipped to respond to rising energy and GHG emissions prices, they will need to be provided with actual energy utility costs and GHG emission data from trusted, reliable sources; i.e. with publicly transparent data collection and calculation methods performed by skilled, knowledgable people regulated by a third-party with no conflict of interest.

    As well, to effectively inform decisions and influence behaviour, performance information will need to be provided through existing channels that are already widely seen by the public, such as real estate advertising. If energy and GHG emissions are to help home-buyers, this information needs to be carried by listings on Multiple Listing Services, so shoppers are informed as they make decisions about which home to visit or the size of their purchase offer. This is likely to require regulations similar to the EUs Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010 recast; it only began to be effective once performance scores were required to be carried in all real estate advertising.

    Q: Do you think there should be separate approaches for homes and large buildings?
    My comments: Definitely. Typically owners, buyers and lessors of large buildings are capable of sophisticated analysis of purchase or lease candidates, but currently have little awareness of the performance of comparable buildings. BC should enact regulations requiring benchmarking and public disclosure of performance of large buildings that use the US EPAs Energy Star Portfolio Manager, similar to those of Seattle or Ontario. (BC should work with Natural Resources Canada to plan for and implement a Plan B in case the US cancels this program.)

    People buying or renting a home are not as well-equipped to assess purchase or lease candidates than businesses buying commercial, so require simpler communications and information such as an EnerGuide or Portfolio Manager score. However, any single number energy score will need to be supplemented with cost and emissions estimates.

    Any benchmarking or labelling regulation needs to address both “as-designed” and “as-occupied” situations; preferably the latter would be based on measured energy consumption from energy utilities that addresses issues of occupant privacy.

    2
    0
    permalink
    User avatar
    [-] John

    A big shortcoming of purchasing real estate in BC, and particularly condos, is the disconnect between a developer’s incentive to cut building costs and the potentially horrendous energy costs that continue into perpetuity for the home owner.

    I highly support that energy labeling be mandated for all new construction. France has had such a system in place for years – you can use that as a model for BC.

    Separate Approaches: As many large buildings are built on speculation, it is imperative to impose energy labelling to ensure that building developers adhere to the same standard that an owner who specifies a custom build would. Owners are concerned about energy costs. Developers, with a short term of interest do not. Purchasers of on spec buildings require the same protection.

    >> Maintain a similar standard for both residential and commercial, new and resale buildings.

    6
    0
    permalink
Comments are closed.