In 2009, Lio & Associates conducted a study that explored various prescriptive equivalents to the energy efficiency performance level of EnerGuide 80 (ERS 80). The goal of the study was to identify prescriptive packages that could reasonably be adopted by the home building industry. Using actual housing performance data gathered from on-site field testing, a new archetype house was developed. Over 100 common models of Ontario houses from some of the largest production builders in the province were analyzed to develop the Ontario archetype house. The 100 house sample included row, semi and single units in proportion to provincial housing starts. The archetype formed the basis for the analysis of prescriptive packages.
The tasks of the study included a sensitivity analysis using HOT2000, performing an ERS 80 analysis for the old house archetypes, developing a new archetype, performing an ERS 80 analysis for the new archetype, testing a full range of compliance packages for various fuels, establishing capital costs associated with the compliance packages, and establishing a life cycle costing for the packages. The analysis included an examination of the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Technical Specifications Version 4.0 and NRCan’s 11 reference houses. A total of 38 packages were developed for natural gas, oil and electric space heating in the two climatic zones of the Building Code and demonstrated a performance level of ERS 80. Each package considered upgrade options for envelope and mechanical components. The envelope components included the insulation and performance of the ceiling, above grade walls, foundation, and windows. Different levels of mechanical equipment efficiencies for ventilation, heating, and domestic hot water systems were also analyzed and proposed as upgrade options.
The capital cost borne by the homebuyer for every upgraded envelope component and mechanical appliance within each ERS compliance package was determined. A number of builders were requested to price each upgrade and report their pricing on a set of standardized worksheets. Using these costs and the energy savings calculated by HOT2000, a life cycle costing analysis of each of the compliance packages was conducted. A 10-year forecast of the cumulative savings in energy and greenhouse gas emissions was also developed.
In 2012, the Ontario Building Code required the energy efficiency design of a residential building to achieve a performance level that is equal to a rating of 80 (ERS 80) or more.