Energy Efficiency: R-2000

R-2000 and the Showcase of Homes

For most of us, when it comes to new homes we often care more about the aesthetics of the home – the kitchen, the bathrooms, the layout and design of the homes, and not all of the ‘stuff’ in the walls that you cannot see that helps to make the home more energy efficient. But what would you do if you knew that you could have all of the glamour in your home and still make it energy efficient? This trend has become a focus of the building industry for both new homes and renovations for many years now.

A beautiful, energy efficient house is very much like having your cake and eating it too – the best of both worlds. And do you know what is even better? The best part is, in the long run, although it may cost you a little more in the beginning, your home will actually be paying you back in the amount of money it is saving you on energy costs every month.

“Building energy efficiency into your home is a smart investment in whatever style or design you choose,” says Paul Pettipas, chief executive officer at the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association (NSHBA). “Increasing the energy efficiency of a home can be a great value, either while you live there or if there comes a time when you want to sell your home.

However, in terms of energy efficiency and choosing environmentally friendly products, before you even begin to build, it is important to understand what this means, how it can help protect your investment… and save you money.

Pettipas adds the NSHBA tries to also help educate consumers on the options available to them and programs such as R-2000 and EnerGuide for New Houses are excellent examples for those who choose to increase their home’s energy efficiency levels.

Energy efficient homes constantly reduce their owner’s carbon footprint and save them money from the day they are finished. This is not only accomplished by saving money in energy costs through their lifespan, but some homes actually qualify for Performance Plus rebates if they meet the required EnerGuide standard.

EnerGuide is an energy scale used to measure the efficiency of new homes and all R-2000 homes must have a minimum rating of 80. New homeowners qualify for monetary rebates with an EnerGuide rating above 83. The PerformancePlus rebates are as follows:

EnerGuide Rating            Rebate

  • 83 and 84                $3000
  • 85 to 87                   $5000
  • 88 and above           $7000

With many people concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, building an energy efficient home is one of the best ways to do that. A home built to these standards will save upwards of 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas a year.

“You can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and you can save money at the same time. There’s really not a lot of things in this world where you can get both,” says Pettipas. “It’s a win-win situation.”

To further this awareness, the NSHBA is able to show, not just tell consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency housing through its annual R-2000 Showcase of Homes. This year marks the 24th anniversary for the event and features a variety of advanced homes with the latest in R-2000 technology. The R-2000 Showcase of Homes is the great opportunity to learn more about advanced building practices, talk to the professionals and have all of your new home questions answered.

“Knowing ahead of time what your estimated energy costs will be is a huge benefit with your new home,” says Pettipas. “In addition to this, another reason why R-2000 homes have become increasingly popular is because they include many environmentally responsible building practices and products, taking it several steps further than the energy measurement program that EnerGuide for New Houses provides.”

If a new home is in your plans, than make sure you take the time to visit the 15 homes on display during the weekends, throughout May 12 – June 3, of the R-2000 Showcase of Homes and see for yourself how an R-2000 home can meet your new home needs. The listing of the homes can be found at in early May.

Sherry Donovan

Sherry Donovan

Sherry Donovan is Communications Director for the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association. She is a regular contributer to various local media and currently has columns appearing in Halifax Metro News and The Chronicle Herald's Homesetc publication.