NRC looks back at 2014 energy efficiency successes

It was a busy year for NRCan’s Buildings Division – one that has had a positive impact on energy efficiency across the country. It began in January 2014 when a new website was launched, and then in June, revamped energy benchmarking Web pages were published.

New publications now available from Natural Resources Canada.

The Division also produced a number of new publications including the following: Better airflow, less energy, lower costs: Fume hood retrofits yield big benefits for National Research Council Canada Building M-12, Improve Your Building’s Energy Performance: Energy Benchmarking Primer, and CAN-QUEST Building Energy Modelling Software factsheet.

Energy benchmarking

The year marked a number of benchmarking achievements as well. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager performance scores for hospitals were released in May 2014. In addition, our energy benchmarking webinars were delivered to over 700 participants. This included a national webinar designed for the hospital sector, the Portfolio Manager series 101 and 201 in May, June and November, and sector-specific customized webinars. The first ever Canadian Office Hours webinar also took place in the fall of 2014 and featured information on Portfolio Manager’s new sharing feature.

Not only is NRCan the source of energy benchmarking information and tools for Portfolio Manager, but the department also practices what it preaches. NRCan is now using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for its key building sites, and has entered data from over 100 meters that go back to 2005, totalling over 10,000 data points. The data input shows that the current Web Services Transfer works well for buildings with simple meter configurations. NRCan’s Buildings Division is working to ensure that data entry into bulk delivery meters (e.g., propane and diesel) and complex meter configurations are also seamless.

For more information, visit

NECB developments

There have been developments over the past year with respect to the adoption and implementation of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB 2011). The provinces of Ontario, British Columbia (B.C.), Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the City of Vancouver (a Charter City) have all adopted the Code. Enforcement of the Code has been staggered starting with B.C. and Vancouver on December 20, 2013, Ontario on January 1, 2014, Manitoba on December 1, 2014, and finally Nova Scotia, which is scheduled to begin enforcing NECB 2011 on December 31, 2014. The combined adoption and enforcement of NECB 2011 in these four provinces is estimated to impact roughly 60 percent of all new commercial buildings constructed in Canada by 2020. It is anticipated that by 2016 at least three other provinces will have adopted or adapted this new energy code.

In spring 2014 an NECB 2011 code compliance checklist tool was developed jointly by NRCan and BC Hydro and made available to all provinces and territories to help facilitate their building permitting processes following code enforcement. Also during 2014, the Buildings Division developed tools to assist building designers with the NECB 2011’s detailed trade-off compliance path calculations. These trade-off tools, which apply to NECB 2011 Part 4 (Lighting) and Parts 5 and 6 (Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning and Service Water Heating) are now available at no charge by contacting [email protected]. Furthermore, a new User’s Guide for NECB 2011 is now available for purchase through the National Research Council’s virtual store at

Finally, the NECB 2011 has been updated for 2015 along with all the other model national construction codes (i.e., NBC, NPC, and NFC). NECB 2015 is on track to be published by December 2015 and will be available for purchase through the NRCan’s Virtual Store.

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