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In Canadian homes, windows in low-rise residential homes can account for up to 35% of heat loss during the heating season, a substantial amount of a home’s overall energy use.1 In the cooling season, windows can raise a room’s temperature via solar radiation resulting in higher air-conditioning costs. Across the seasons, windows play an integral part of a home’s energy use. If next-generation window technology were applied, it could lead to a 9% decrease in the home’s overall energy use.2 However, manufacturers wanting to deploy this technology currently have to overcome the barrier of entering a market that is local and fragmented – with a patchwork of energy efficiency regulations and building codes across the provinces.
The provinces of British Columbia and Ontario have included fenestration products amongst the list of products regulated in provincial energy efficiency regulations. In British Columbia the products regulated are windows, doors, skylights, as well as glazing products. In Ontario, only windows are regulated. Currently, the federal Energy Efficiency Regulations do not set out energy efficiency requirements for fenestration products. While the National Building Code stipulates a minimum energy performance for windows, doors, and skylights across Canada, it only applies to new construction that represents only 45% of all windows sold in Canada.
A nationally consistent energy efficiency standard for widows is an essential first step to bring about market transformation for fenestration products in Canada. This document is intended to initiate a dialogue with the fenestration industry, provinces and territories, and other key stakeholders on the design of a federal Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) for fenestration products that could become part of the federal Energy Efficiency Regulations. At this time, a broad range of comments and feedback are encouraged in order to understand stakeholders’ perspectives on key issues, challenges, and possible solutions related to the introduction of MEPS for fenestration products and the transformation of the market as a whole towards greater energy efficiency. At the end of the document, we propose a timetable for the implementation of the standards to provide guidance and to frame discussions.