THEREFORE YOUR PETITIONERS call upon the Government of Canada to work with the provinces and territories to develop a new national building code that reduces overall energy demand to 15% of what current structures use.
The Government of Canada is working collaboratively with provinces and territories to develop model energy codes that will be published by December 2021. These codes will include increasingly stringent levels leading to buildings and homes being Net-Zero Energy Ready (NZER). NZER means that the improvement in energy performance at the top level is such that the energy consumed by the building can be offset with a reasonably-sized renewable energy system, should the building owner choose to install one. This new standard is to be adopted by provinces and territories by 2030.
These new codes will result in significant energy demand reductions for new buildings. Based on current estimates, when built to the maximum performance set out in the top levels of the codes, commercial and institutional buildings (under the National Energy Code for Buildings) will see a 60% reduction in energy consumption relative to those built to current base code requirements. Residential homes, under the National Building Code Section 9.36, will see a 70% reduction. These improvement levels were arrived at following extensive cost and impact analysis modelling by the National Research Council and Natural Resources Canada. This analysis determined that these performance levels will be economically and technologically feasible. The 2030 target date was set following discussions with provinces and territories to allow sufficient time to transition to these new, increasingly stringent standards. However, provinces and territories have the option to adopt the codes sooner.
The next code cycle in 2025 will provide an opportunity to review these levels and consider the feasibility of developing even more stringent efficiency code requirements. Greater stringency would augment the government’s efforts to meet ambitious emissions reduction targets in Canada.
Through Budget 2017, the government committed $182 million to support code development and adoption. Initiatives include research, development and demonstration projects to support lower energy and construction costs – a key barrier to code uptake. Capacity building initiatives were also launched, including for the provision of training and tools to support code compliance. The government is also investing in new building technologies and enhanced standards for household appliances and equipment. And, it is regulating key technologies to the highest level of efficiency that is economically and technically achievable. These measures will result in more energy efficient buildings and homes. Three amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations were published in the 2018-2019 period, updating or introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for 36 product categories across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
This comprehensive approach is intended to ensure the targets outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change will be met. Ultimately, these efforts will dramatically improve the efficiency of Canadian homes and buildings. They will also lower energy operating costs and create healthier and more comfortable living environments.
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