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NB Power’s New Home Energy Savings Program is a Performance based or a Prescriptive program encouraging builders to reduce their energy consumption by going beyond the minimums prescribed in the National Building Code.

You can aim for either path, but incentives can’t be combined between the two. Projects will get the higher amount of the two pathways.

Aiming for Energy Performance Tier 3, 4, or 5 from the 2020 National Building Code allows for flexibility in terms of the upgrades you build into your project. Other than a requirement on cold climate heat pumps (see below), you have choices about insulation amounts, construction approaches, and mechanical systems, among other things.

The focus of this option is on energy usage and what is called the building envelope. The building envelope is anywhere in the home where heat may escape. This includes the exterior walls, foundations, roof, windows, and doors.

The table below is adapted from the 2020 National Building Code. The energy modelling software used by the registered Energy Advisor will show if the house reaches the targets. The software will compare the house you plan to build to the same house built to code minimums. This code minimum house is called the Reference House.

House volume Greater than 300 m³ Energy Performance Tier
3 4 5
Rebate/Incentive $1,000 $9,000 $15,000
Building envelope improvement (Note 1) 10% or higher 20% or higher 40% or higher
Overall improvement (Note 2) 20% or higher 40% or higher 70% or higher
House volume Less than or equal to 300 m³ Energy Performance Tier
3 4 5
Rebate/Incentive $1,000 $9,000 $15,000
Building envelope improvement (Note 1) 5% or higher 15% or higher 25% or higher
Overall improvement (Note 2) 10% or higher 30% or higher 60% or higher

Note 1 – This is the percent improvement of the building envelope including the roof, walls, floors in contact with the ground, exposed floors, as well as windows, doors, and skylights. This includes the effects of air infiltration and exfiltration as well as mechanical ventilation.

Note 2 – This is the overall percent improvement of the house compared to the Reference House. Everything in Note 1 is included as well as the energy used for space heating, the energy used to heat domestic hot water, energy generated on site from renewables like solar photovoltaics, alongside many other smaller factors. Energy used for lighting, appliances and plug-in devices is excluded.

How to read the table above

1. Start by identifying the volume of your planned house in cubic meters. You can estimate this from your building plans or by talking with your builder. The Energy Advisor will tell you this number when they have completed energy modelling of your plans.

2. Once you know if your planned house is “bigger” (great than 300 cubic meters) or “smaller” (less than or equal to 300 cubic meters), you can find the two percentage targets by moving across the row to the right.

For example, if your planned house is “smaller” and you want to reach Energy Performance Tier 4, then your planned house needs to achieve:

  • 15% (or greater) improvement in the building envelope compared to the same house built to code minimums.
  • And 30% (or greater) improvement in the overall energy usage of the planned house compared to the same house built to code minimums.

 

To get a sense of what it might take to reach each tier, see this page for case studies.

Mandatory requirements in the Performance based option:

  • Any air source heat pumps installed in the home must be found on the Canada Greener Homes Grant list of cold climate air source heat pumps. For homes that otherwise meet the requirements of Tiers 4 or 5, but have heat pumps installed that are not found on the list at the provided link, incentives may be capped at the amount for Energy Performance Tier 3. Homes that meet Tier 3 requirements but have non-qualifying heat pumps are not eligible for incentives.
  • Other than the above requirement on air source heat pumps there is flexibility in how you reach the performance targets. You must follow all applicable codes and regulations in effect in your jurisdiction.

 

The Prescriptive option is specific but still allows flexibility in building energy efficiency into your new home. You must complete at least 5 upgrades from the choices below that include enhancing the building envelope, mechanical systems, or domestic hot water systems. To ensure you choose enough upgrades, you should know that installing multiple units of the same equipment only counts as one of the five required upgrades. For example, installing 3 mini split heat pumps counts as only 1 of the five required upgrades. The maximum possible incentive through the Prescriptive option is $15,000.

These simplified tables outline specific upgrades, requirements, and incentive amounts. See the program guidelines for full details and requirements.

Note: The R values above are effective R values; this means they include the effects of non-insulating materials as well as framing. The term R value describes a material’s resistance to heat transfer; a higher R value means a thicker amount of insulation.

Building envelope upgrades Requirement Incentive
Attic/sloped ceiling/flat roof Effective - R60 $150
Above grade walls Effective - R24 $2,250
Below grade walls Effective - R22 $1,500
Basement floor and slab-on-grade Effective -  R20 $1,400
Windows/doors/skylights ENERGY STAR $20 or $50 per rough opening
Air Tightness ACH 2.5 or lower (ACH stands for Air Changes per Hour and is a measure for how much air leaks into and out of a house.) Up to $1500 for ACH 0.5 or lower
Mechanical system upgrades Requirement Incentive
Cold climate mini split heat pumps Air source heat pumps must be found on the Canada Greener Homes Grant list of cold climate air source heat pumps $400 per system
Cold climate multizone heat pump $350 per indoor head
Cold climate central heat pump $1,500 per system
Geothermal heat pump Found on the Canada Greener Homes Grant list of Ground Source Heat Pumps or ENERGY STAR $2,000
Wood/pellet furnace or boiler US EPA or CSA B415.10 $500 per system
Heat recovery ventilator ENERGY STAR $200 per system

 

Domestic hot water upgrades Requirement Incentive
Heat pump water heater ENERGY STAR $550
Gas water heater ENERGY STAR $350
Drain water heat recovery CSA B55.1 42% efficiency $400

 

See the complete tables including links to equipment lists in the program guidelines.

See the program guidelines for details on incentives towards home certifications/labels from organizations such as the Canadian Home Builders Association and Passive House.