Reader believes building code in Alberta is out of date

What’s that? New homes are built better in Ontario?

Yes it’s true. Albertans about to purchase a new home just might be paying too much for a home that doesn’t measure up.

When it comes to the purchase of a new home be careful, very careful. You see, if you purchase a new home built strictly to the Alberta Building Code, the same house would not be allowed to be sold in Ontario, as well as in B.C., Manitoba or Nova Scotia.

Why? Because the Alberta Building Code is out of date and its energy efficiency standards have not been updated in 30 years.

Alberta has fallen behind in home energy efficiency. What this means to you is new houses are being sold that cost 35% more to heat and cool for as long as you own them. Is that what you expect when making the biggest purchase of your life? It’s just not right.

Despite what the builders say, the cost of making your new home energy efficient isn’t really much of a premium – in most cases you can get that efficiency for less than $5,000. That may cost you $20 more per month on your mortgage, but it could save you much more on your utility bill each month.

Why not ask your homebuilder how in Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and Nova Scotia they can build a more energy efficient home? Or better yet, write your Member of Legislative Assembly and insist on better building codes in Alberta.

Delaying on energy efficiency hurts us all.

After all, Albertans are number one in energy production. Being number one in energy efficiency is well within our reach. The energy we save is energy that we can sell to others.

Stephen Koch

Chair, Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance