EnerGuide Label for Homes
Does the EnerGuide label effectively convey energy efficiency and consumption information to homeowners?
Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide label uses a rating to: - convey information about how much energy a home uses - encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy-efficient User research and a literature review of residential labelling identified some opportunities to improve the EnerGuide label so that the rating is better understood by Canadians.
The Carrot Rewards mobile application was used to evaluate whether homeowners in British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland were able to understand information about the energy efficiency and energy consumption of their homes as depicted on the EnerGuide label. In total, approximately 30,000 users of the Carrot Rewards application participated in the online experiment; data were collected in November and December 2018. Participants completed 3 modules that tested their understanding of energy efficiency using: - Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide - the United Kingdom’s Energy Performance Certification - the United States’ Home Energy Score The participants were shown a random assortment of labels issued by organizations in the 3 jurisdictions listed above. They were asked to interpret these labels. Data about how well the participants interpreted the labels were collected. Based on the data, conclusions were drawn regarding the clarity and effectiveness of the labels.
The participants were shown a random assortment of labels issued by organizations in the 3 jurisdictions listed above. They were asked to interpret these labels.
Comprehension was measured by testing if participants could correctly answer questions about energy efficiency and consumption after viewing various label scales that represented a fictional home’s efficiency rating.
This experiment showed that, in some cases, homeowners understood the energy efficiency information that the label conveyed quite well. In other cases, however, they misinterpreted or did not understand what the label tried to communicate. The EnerGuide label provides more information than the labels issued in the United Kingdom or the United States; however, the EnerGuide rating scale is not as clear. Our results strongly suggest that users have difficulty interpreting the energy efficiency rating relative to a reference home. Users may also have difficulty understanding energy efficiency when they consider the energy consumption information provided on specific EnerGuide labels. The experiment identified opportunities to further analyze and make improvements to the design of the EnerGuide label. Future findings will inform and advance our efforts to improve labelling about energy efficiency in order to better inform Canadians.
Jul 12, 2019
Lead Branch and/or Unit:
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada