Lio & Associates conducted the study that explored prescriptive energy efficiency performance levels for the 2017 Ontario Building Code. The goal of the study was to identify prescriptive packages that could reasonably be adopted by the home building industry. The packages represent a 15% energy efficiency increase over the 2012 Building Code.
The tasks of the study included a sensitivity analysis using HOT2000, 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. Draft 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 15% greater than the 2012 Building Code. 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. The life cycle analysis used a study period of 25 years which corresponds to a typical residential mortgage. A discount rate was calculated from the current mortgage rate and the current inflation rate. The analysis considered the future forecast of energy prices using an escalation rate predicted by the National Energy Board.
In Summer 2016, the Ministry published the prescriptive energy efficiency packages to be in effect for 2017.