Upcoming Energy Code Changes: What’s New

January 05, 2024

In March 2022, Natural Research Council Canada released the latest version of the model energy code: The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2020. Nova Scotia has committed to adoption of the latest energy code within 24 months of publication; it is expected that the code will be adopted by March 2024. 

NECB 2020 has several notable changes compared to the 2017 version, including improvements to minimum equipment efficiency for heat pumps and combustion heating systems; improvements in envelope requirements; and introduction of new voluntary air leakage requirements. The code also introduces a tiered code approach. The new performance tiers enable the jurisdiction to enact incremental changes in minimum building energy performance. The tiers and associated compliance pathways are as follows:

  • Tier 1: NECB 2020 baseline; prescriptive or performance compliance
  • Tier 2: 25% reduction compared to tier 1; performance compliance only
  • Tier 3: 50% reduction compared to tier 1; performance compliance only
  • Tier 4: 60% reduction compared to tier 1; performance compliance only

Performance compliance is achieved through whole-building energy modelling of the proposed building design, compared to a reference building defined by NECB 2020. Tiers 2-4 allow performance compliance only, meaning that all Part 3 new construction projects in Nova Scotia would require a compliance energy model to achieve a building permit.

To understand more about the implications of NECB 2020, and the role of compliance energy modelling in project design, please reach out to our team.

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