And How This Rating Can Transform Your Project

Today, incorporating sustainable building design practices in your home or office renovation is more important than ever. A building with an ENERGY STAR certification means it’s certified as energy efficient. Having this certification typically results in saving on energy consumption, cost of utilities, and, most importantly, means there are steps being taken to protect our climate. Follow along as we explore how to achieve top energy performance for your next project.

What is the ENERGY STAR Program?

The ENERGY STAR symbol is an internationally recognized mark of high efficiency, meaning that your new home, building or industrial facility is certified as energy efficient. With ENERGY STAR certification, you can be confident that you are contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also reduce your operation costs, increase your property value and even increase occupancy rates in rental properties.

Currently, in Canada, the following building types are able to apply for ENERGY STAR certification:

  • commercial offices
  • hotels
  • skating/curling rinks
  • schools
  • retail stores
  • hospitals/medical offices
  • senior care and residential care facilities
  • supermarkets/food stores
  • warehouses

How is ENERGY STAR calculated?

ENERGY STAR is calculated on a 1 – 100 scale, so you can see how your building measures up to similar properties across Canada and the world. A score of 75 or higher indicates that your building is a top performer and may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, whereas a score of 50 represents median energy performance. When you apply, your ENERGY STAR score will be calculated based on the building’s overall performance, including its assets, its operations, and how it is used.

8 Reasons to Pursue ENERGY STAR Certification:

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Believe it or not, over 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from the energy used in residential and commercial buildings nationwide. Energy used in our homes, warehouses, office buildings and more is a major contributor to smog, acid rain and climate change. With ENERGY STAR certification, your building will use less energy and generate less air pollution.

Recognizability and customer trust

ENERGY STAR is one of the most trusted environmental labels worldwide. Research has shown that over 80 per cent of Canadians recognize the ENERGY STAR symbol when they see it, making it an attractive feature for potential future leasers and buyers interested in long-term savings. Plus, they will take comfort in knowing that they are helping to protect the environment. This ultimately results in higher occupancy rates and improved customer loyalty.

Cost savings, lower operating costs

On average, buildings with ENERGY STAR certification use around 35 per cent less energy than similar buildings across Canada. That said, the cost savings can be substantial. For example, ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost almost a dollar less per square foot to operate than non-certified office buildings.

Higher income and increased rental value

If your building has reliable and consistent energy performance, it will be more likely that the higher net operating income thanks to the money you’ll save on energy costs will be recognized through higher building valuation, increasing your building’s overall value. This is a guarantee with ENERGY STAR, which will keep operating costs consistently low through low energy consumption – meaning a higher income for you.

Requirement for future mandates

Many cities and provinces have passed or are in the process of passing energy efficiency mandates for commercial construction projects and even existing buildings. Just because there may not currently be any such legislation in place in your area, does not mean it won’t happen in the future. Why spend all the extra money bringing your building up to code when it does happen, when you can simply make sure you have ENERGY STAR certification in the first place? This will protect you (and your wallet) from future mandates that may come into effect in the coming months and years.

Mitigate risks when building

If you’re in the business of developing commercial real estate, you can help mitigate profitability risks during the building process by validating assumptions made during the development appraisal, such as rent, asset value, operating costs and occupancy. Plus, if your project is ENERGY STAR certified, some jurisdictions will allow expedited permitting, review, processing and inspections to help streamline the building process.

It’s the responsible thing to do

When it comes down to it, doing all you can to ensure that your building is using as little energy as possible is simply the right thing to do. Sustainability and eco-friendly design practices are quickly moving up the list of priorities for the average customer. With ENERGY STAR certification, both you and your customers can be confident that measures have been taken to protect the environment and that everyone involved is being ethical and responsible.

Sourcing the right manufacturers for your projects

If you’re looking to pursue ENERGY STAR certification for your new or existing building project, it’s important to choose a manufacturer that specializes in energy-efficient products. Luckily, that’s where we come in!

Dalmen’s energy-efficient windows and doors use advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frames, to help keep the heat in over the winter and out during the summer. Low-E windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolour carpets and furnishings.

The Takeaway

A little bit of thought and work can go a long way when it comes to protecting the environment and securing long-term savings for your next design project. Along with reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and lessening our dependency on fossil fuels, green buildings also reduce operating costs and improve the quality of life for everyone using the building. Why not take the initiative and pursue ENERGY STAR certification today?