Tuesday, January 18, 2022

How efficient is your home? The map project plans to publish ratings for all Calgary, Edmonton homes CBC News

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Alberta residents living in Calgary and Edmonton may soon see how productive their neighbors ’homes are.

The Alberta environmental charity and software company plans to evaluate the energy efficiency of each individual home in both cities and publish the ratings online this fall.

The pilot’s goal is to combat climate change by encouraging Albertans to improve the energy supply to their homes.

“Studies have shown that the first three to five years after acquisition are the most time to complete modernization and repairs, so in collaboration with realtors in Calgary and Edmonton, we are able to share this information with realtors and realtors. We hope to hand over the league to their clients, ”said Jessica Lajoie, an Alberta Ecotrust Foundation program specialist.

With a budget of about $ 400,000, the pilot project is based on Edmonton’s home energy map, which shows the energy efficiency of some of the city’s homes.

This map only shows homes with the EnerGuide label – the official ratings given to energy-tested homes – but the pilot home provides a broader assessment of energy efficiency.

“We instantly score points for every home in Edmonton and Calgary,” said James Riley, CEO and founder of Lightspark Software in Vancouver, who contributes to the project in a six-figure nature. .

The company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create ratings.

His ratings may not be as accurate as the results of home inspections, but Riley said his company has spent two and a half years understanding large amounts of municipal and federal data and studying patterns in homes that have already been inspected.

“We found this to be very true, because most of the houses after the war were built in their own way,” he said.

In 2015, the company conducted a similar but less complex energy analysis of thousands of homes in New Scotland, where people wanted a handy tool that would simplify the complex landscape of energy measurements and government grants.

Lightspark plans to launch a pilot beta this summer and release official maps in the fall.

A consumer-oriented portal that includes information about grant opportunities and allows people to send updates to improve their scores will also be added, and homeowners who do not like their online rankings may opt out.

A successful launch in Alberta’s largest cities could pave the way for similar maps across the country.

“Ultimately, we see the business model as a licensing of these platforms by cities and utilities as it helps more consumers cut carbon faster and reduce energy faster,” Riley said.

Ontario’s real estate industry leaders opposed the 2018 home labeling policy, but Alberta realtors agreed with the idea.

The presidents of the real estate industry associations in Calgary and Edmonton praised the idea in a report released this week and said the Lajoi Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is working with MLS platform provider to get the points listed on the home list.

Prospective home buyers often ask for utility bills to feel the energy efficiency of their property, but calculations can provide more information about a previous homeowner’s behavior than the efficiency of the home, said Patti Morris, executive director of the Alberta Real Estate Fund.

The Real Estate Fund is allocating more than half of the funds for the pilot.

“We think this will really help the population and the real estate industry develop education on the value of setting residential energy,” Morris said.

The project is funded by the federal government through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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