ecoENERGY Report – Part 3 – EnerGuide Rating

In Part 2 we reviewed the EnerGuide Rating we received and explained how the report indicates to interpret the numbers.

Remember, the scale and numbers in our Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report are:

  • 70 – Rating our house received
  • 80 – Potential rating our house could receive if we implement all of the reports recommendations
  • 66 – Average rating for a house in the same age group as ours 

energuide rating ecoENERGY Report   Part 3   EnerGuide Rating

Also in Part 2 we indicated we had some concerns on these numbers. Here are our concerns in no particular order:

  • Should we accept that the best our house can do is to achieve the 80? What do we need to do in order to achieve a rating more than 80? What are the costs to do this and what are the benefits? Is a score of 100 even achievable?
    • We would have liked the report to address this, even at least in a cursory manner.
  • What is this scale? What is the background of how it is determined? Where can I go to understand how this scale is calculated?
    • While relative scores are useful, a little background on the scale would have been useful we think. The report tends to assume that either we already know what the scale is or that most will be satisfied with just the comparative numbers.
    • To be fair, the report does state that the gain from 70 to 80 would result in an estimated 33% reduction in our house’s energy consumption and that this likely would occur form implementing all of the recommendations. This helps a great deal to understand the numbers.
  • If the average rating for a 20 year old house in Canada is 66, what is the rating of a new house (1 to 5 years old)? What specific construction techniques help newer homes achieve that rating?
    • It would have been useful to understand the average newer home score and the major reasons for the difference to a 20 year old average score, grouped by those reasons which can be addressed without major reconstruction of the home

Please do not misunderstand. The report is very good. We like it a lot. There are just some pieces of information in this first section that we would have liked to have presented to us in the report because we tend to be a curious lot here at Daily Home Renovation Tips.

And, the report does give us web sites we can go to for more information. Additionally, the evaluator did leave us with a plethora (my word of the day icon smile ecoENERGY Report   Part 3   EnerGuide Rating )  of booklets on energy conservation during the visit which was really good as well as some web sites we could also go to for further understanding and energy conservation information.

Supposition on our part, but one has to wonder why the report does not say the average EnerGuide rating for a new home rating. We have sent off an email to Natural Resources Canada, the sponsors of the ecoENERGY grant program. When we receive a reply we will fill you in on what they had to say.

We will continue with our examination of the Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report we received for our house next week, starting on Tuesday, with the Recommendations section of the report. This will include those items specific to our home (not too different from many homes), the potential for savings and amount of related grant money available to use for these recommendations.

To continue with the next article in this series about our experiences with the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit assessment, simply select this link to Part 4.

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Comments

  1. William Lynn says:

    I had an energy audit done on my house in 2005 by Amerispec, with evaluation by Hydro Quebec. The report lists the following typical ratings.
    0-50: Old house not upgraded.
    51-65: Upgraded old house.
    66-74: Typical new house or more energy efficient upgraded old house.
    75-79: Energy efficient new house.
    80-90: Highly efficient new house.
    91-100: Approaching zero purchased energy new house.

    From this I think an 80 on a 20 year old house would be exceptional.

    My 1952 house got a rating of 64. If I did all the recommended changes it would improve to 65 (which would not qualify for a grant under the Energuide for houses programme then in effect).
    I insulated basement and attic in the 1970′s, new windows and doors in 1989, so the additional changes suggested were not
    cost effective in my view.
    Bill

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your comment.

    We are going to likely call back the energy audity firm (not Amerispec) in a few weeks and see how we did (it will take them several weeks to send us the report from the second audit). It will be interesting to see how much, if any, we have improved from the 70 rating we initially received.

    What were the recommendations you received on your house? Just curious.

    Dan

  3. Bill Lynn says:

    Hi Dan,

    The recommendations in my report were:

    Faulty Dryer vent Installation.
    In the heating season (when the audit was done) I vent my drier into the house and block the vent to outside to keep in heat and humidity (we don’t have a humidifier).
    The auditor considered this a faulty installation, but I’m not about to change it.

    Air leakage:
    through joints between siding and foundation, joints between floors and exterior walls, window frames, electical outlets, etc., etc.
    The one that surprised me was the windows that I had installed in 1989 (aluminum frame, “thermo-plus” double pane with low-E glass). The auditor found a lot of leakage around the frames, suggesting poor caulking. I have not yet tried to improve this, but hope to some day.

    Water heater:
    Install an insulated cover to improve its insulation (this seems to be a standard suggestion; must come from the uninsulated galvanized water heater tanks we had years ago.

    Soffits:
    Open up to improve ventilation.
    I had severe ice damming problems. Improved ventilation is the standard solution, so I spent big bucks last fall getting the soffits opened up and better ventilators (along with an aluminum roof), but the ice damming last winter was worse than ever. So I’m not convinced that attic ventilation is the solution to ice damming.

    As I mentioned before, the potential rating with the changes is 65 compared to the existing 64, so I am not in a hurry to get at them.

    Bill

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks very much for sharing.

    I can appreciate the recommendation re stopping air leakage around window frames, even on new windows. We had 6 months ago all of our main floor 20 year old windows replaced with Energy Star rated windows (to qualify for the ecoENERGY Retrofit credit). Well they are good windows but the installers did a very poor job of finishing the interior moldings around the new windows.

    It’s one of those articles I keep putting off to show folks but the amount of space between the window frame molding and the drywall was unbelievable, especially on the lower frames of most windows, so lots of air leakage potential there.

    As well, we had ice dams twice this winter but because the Bay window of our dining room was built too far out and protrudes past the fascia. In our new (pending series) on gutter replacement we will show this in more detail and the fix that the contractor who received our business recommended which was in our opinion better than a certain Canada-wide eves trough company that has appeared on a certain ‘holm’ renovation show. :-)

    Lastly, we did receive some recommendations that were clearly boiler plate stuff like to do such and such with our inground pool heater….we don’t have an inground pool! Then again, the timers on the bathroom timers was also part of the portion of the recommendations that were boiler plate, so to me it’s OK to receive too many recommendations to conserve energy around the house….even the ones that one party things are common sense as they might not be to another.

    Again, thanks very much for sharing!
    Dan

  5. vipsoft says:

    My house is approaching 4 yrs old. According to my ‘D’ audit, it scored 65, with the average being 74 for homes of this age. Somewhat disappointed to see that implementing all the recommendations would only bring it to 74 (no better than average).

  6. MikeH says:

    A quick comment on windows: New windows, if installed properly using low expansion foam, should not leak around the frames or behind the trim. Yes, caulking the trim to the window and wall will improve air tightness, but if the low expansion foam was properly installed there shouldn’t be much leakage anyway. Without the foam or some other insulation between the rough opening and window, you essentially end up with a 3/8″ – 3/4″ thick piece of pine or MDF (usally) making up that part of the building envelope. Not a very high R value there. Rather than just caulking, it would be best to remove the trim and insulate properly with the LOW expansion foam for DOORS & WINDOWS.If you have fiberglass insulation between the window and rough opening it is best removed and replaced with the foam as fiberglass does not provide an adequate vapour barrier and it is usually packed in making it ineffective as it is the air pockets within the fiberglass that provide the insulation.

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