January 29, 2007

Nova Scotia proposes "80 by '11" energy efficiency standard for new homes

HALIFAX, NS-The Nova Scotia government is proposing to increase the energy efficiency standards for new houses. was released today, Jan. 16, by Bill Dooks, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, at the ENERHouse 2007 conference in Halifax. The proposed "80 by '11" initiative, announced by Bill Dooks, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, could require new homes to display an EnerGuide rating as early as 2008. The EnerGuide rating system is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. No minimum standards exist, but the average energy rating of a home in Nova Scotia is 67. Beginning in 2009, all new homes could be required to achieve an energy rating of 72. In 2010, the minimum rating would increase to 77. In 2011, the minimum would be 80. Industry consultations will begin in February to review government's proposed energy efficiency standards. "This approach could allow homebuilders, consumers, and government to improve the energy standards in new houses in a way that is both gradual and achievable," said Heather Foley Melvin, chief executive officer of Conserve Nova Scotia. "Both consumers and the environment will benefit from these proposed changes." To encourage consumers to build homes to an EnerGuide 80 rating before 2011, Conserve Nova Scotia will offer a $500 incentive through the EnerGuide for New Houses program. "The houses we build today will have the same energy requirements 15, 30, even 50 years down the road," Dooks noted. "We can help consumers save on long-term energy costs and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by improving our energy building codes today." Improving the energy codes to an EnerGuide 80 rating could save consumers up to $900 annually in energy costs. It could also prevent more than 5.6 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for every new home built to this standard. More information, including details on the EnerGuide for New Houses program, is available on-line at www.nshba.ns.ca/energuide.html or www.conservens.ca, or by calling toll-free 1-800-668-2001.

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