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Resale homes should carry energy use label by 2019: environmental groups

A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A coalition of environmental groups wants to see homes listed for resale in Canada to carry information about how much energy they use.

Ten organizations, including the Pembina Institute, the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance and The Atmospheric Fund, want the federal government to implement nearly two dozen policies to cut energy use in commercial and residential buildings.

In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the group says nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from energy use in homes and buildings. They want to see a number of improvements imposed as Canada seeks to reduce its annual carbon emissions by 200 million tonnes by 2030.

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They include ensuring all new homes are net-zero-energy capable – generating their own energy through solar and other sources – by 2030, and requiring existing homes to have a mandatory energy use label applied when listed for sale.

Karen Tam Wu, the Pembina Institute's director of the buildings and urban solutions program, says such measures would give buyers an understanding of what energy efficiency improvements might be necessary.

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