Homebuilders called to help Ontario become a world leader in “green” home building

EnerQuality Corporation, which provides certification, training and consultation in energy-efficient housing to the Ontario residential construction industry, has launched the Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) in four Ontario regions and Technology Adoption Pilot (TAP).


The LEEP technology review process and the installation of technologies in TAP Discovery homes, aims to accelerate the adoption of builder-selected, energy-efficient technologies and best practices across Ontario. It addresses the issue of builders who, swamped with information about new products, must decide which is the most market ready, offer the greatest value and fit best into the housing development system.


“New technologies and practices are expected to be a major part of a future in which homes consume much less energy.  But for that to happen, we must find ways for those technologies to enter the marketplace more smoothly,” said EnerQuality president Corey McBurney. “LEEP offers an approach for builders to work together to review and select technologies while TAP demonstration homes help builders install the best energy-saving technologies for their customers. The partnership will result in increased knowledge and capacity that can be shared with other home builders.”


The four participating Ontario home building associations are BILD – GTA, London, Sudbury and Hamilton-Halton and Niagara (who have partnered for this initiative). This will lead to the building of 40 demonstration homes over the next two years, in these four regions.


Stephen Dupuis, president of the Greater Toronto Area Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) said, “We are enthusiastic about the LEEP process because it is builder-centred.  It gives leaders in the home building industry an opportunity to come together and choose energy saving and renewable technologies in a streamlined, non-pressured environment. It is different from other initiatives, because we start with a blank slate.”


Added Dupuis, “Here’s how it works. Through a series of facilitated meetings, using well-organized and credible technology information, we start to cull a broad spectrum of technologies down to a few that we build into our homes. The process gives us confidence in technologies that we can integrate into our mainstream production housing rather than ones that will only be offered as upgrades.


“This is the kind of partnership that works well for builders. Using the strengths of different groups, and underpinned by EnerQuality and CanmetENERGY, it will bring builders and subcontractors together with city building officials in a collaborative environment to consider key technologies,” he added.


The LEEP process is not untested. Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY, which has a long history of providing energy solutions in the housing sector, including facilitating technology to market activities through testing, energy modeling, and education, recognized the need for such a process and piloted it four years ago in partnership with the City of London, its HBA, and local building leaders. The successful pilot has shaped the LEEP structure, and the London HBA will participate again in the new LEEP and TAP initiatives.


EnerQuality and its consultants will facilitate the local LEEP processes and TAP demonstration homes, building on their successful facilitation on Energy Star Homes and Building Canada in Ontario. CanmetENERGY, as the LEEP technical authority, will provide a single point source of credible information about leading-edge energy efficient technologies, further refined and organized by class of product and decision structure.


Builders want to provide innovation solutions to help their clients reduce their energy costs. Natural Resource’s Canada’s CanmetENERGY London pilot showed that builders can reduce their risk and save time when selecting and installing new technologies by working together to evaluate options and share knowledge.  CanmetENERGY’s LEEP enables builders to gain confidence in their choice of new technologies, allowing for broader installation of the ‘most ready’ new technologies for their local markets.


“We’re excited to be a part of piloting LEEP and TAP through the OPA’s Conservation Fund,” said Paul Shervill, Vice-President of Conservation, Ontario Power Authority.  “If we can accelerate the penetration of new technologies into new homes, we can help Ontario meet its aggressive electricity conservation targets more quickly.  If this initiative is successful, it is our hope that it can expand across Ontario.” 


Funding for this LEEP and TAP initiative has been provided by Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY, the Ontario Power Authority, Enbridge, and Union Gas. 

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