Energy-efficient new homes

Comfort and savings come from planning ahead

Shiny fixtures. Pretty colours. Spacious rooms. Beautiful floor plans and finishes are what we typically remember as we walk through the rooms of a home, but that’s like the icing on the cake.

Nova Scotia Home Builders' AssociationInstead, it’s planning what is inside the walls and how the home is built, where significant time and attention to detail should be spent in the earlier stages of new home construction. It may not be pretty, you may not even see it once the finished walls are completed, but you certainly will feel it – especially in terms of comfort and ease on your pocket book when it comes to energy savings.

Have you considered the benefits of choosing an R-2000 home or an EnerGuide rated home? Registering with the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association’s (NSHBA) various programs offer you peace of mind that the home you are moving into has been tested and documented based on predetermined criteria.

With an R-2000 home there are specific requirements that must be met in order for the house to receive certification, including the use of certain products and a minimum energy rating, to name a few of the items. R-2000 homes can only be built by certified R-2000 builders and require the builder to take mandatory training and renewal courses. Furthermore, each house must be tested at the pre-drywall stage and upon completion in order to determine whether it passes or fails.

A minimum rating of 86 is required on the EnerGuide scale according to the latest R-2000 standards, which allows the homes to be eligible for enrolment in the Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Performance Plus program.

EnerGuide rated homes offer home-owners the opportunity to receive an energy rating for their new home based on a 0-100 scale. The building code in Nova Scotia indicates that all new homes must meet a minimum rating of 80. Many homeowners and builders strive to reach higher numbers, which allows them to realize greater ongoing energy savings.

In addition to the energy savings, homeowners are also able to enroll in the Performance Plus program and potentially receive rebates based on their rating and specific criteria.

Energy efficiency should be a priority in your new home. Phone the NSHBA at 450-5554 / 1-800-668-2001 or visit our new office location at 124 Chain Lake Drive in Bayers Lake. For additional information on Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Performance Plus program and specific requirements, visit

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.