The following is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions by our clientele.
If you have any questions about the insulation in your home, heating and ventilation systems, how to get rid of humidity, or about housing in general, just ask us!
Yes, it is called the Rénoclimat energy-saving renovation program for homes.
This program offers you many advantages, such as an energy efficiency evaluation, as well as advice and recommendations concerning the work to carry out to improve the energy performance of your house.
What is more, you can benefit from financial assistance that can help you cover the additional cost of the work serving to reduce your energy consumption!
Before you consider renovating your home, please consult the Rénoclimat section or call us toll free at: 1-866-266-0008.
Within the scope of the Novoclimat program for the construction of energy efficient multiple-unit buildings and new homes, the builders, ventilation experts, pre-fabricated home manufacturers and professionals participating in the program must follow training and receive certification from the ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune.
Consequently, you can consult the list of certified businesses and professionals on our Web site under the section Novoclimat-certified builders and professionals.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the Department does not recommend the services of a specific contractor or professional.
The Department is required to produce a RL-27 slip “Government payments” for recipients who are granted financial assistance under its programs, whether the recipient is an individual, a corporation or a partnership.
If you are an individual, you are generally not required to include the amount or attach the slip to your income tax return.
Should you require additional information regarding the tax treatment of RL-27 slips, please contact Revenu Québec directly.
More output capacity is not synonymous with efficiency. If your unit is too powerful, it will stop and start over more often, which means it will consume more energy, cost you more and even lead to discomfort.
However, output capacity should be considered because a new system will be more energy efficient. You need the unit to provide the quantity of heat required to ensure comfort in cold temperatures.
By being more energy efficient, your system will help you consume less energy while supplying the same quantity of heat.
The system’s output capacity (generally expressed in BTU/h or kWs) must be consistent with the real heating needs of your home.
It is impossible to determine the real required capacity of the heating system without relying on calculations.
The calculation mainly evaluates the heat loss of the home in order to establish the required capacity of the heating system. The calculation must be based on CAN/CSA F-280 standard known as Determining the Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances.
Many variables must be considered:
It is important to mention that the calculations used nowadays have been improved and do not solely take into account heat loss but also consider recent climate data. Computerized simulation tools are also increasingly used. Do not hesitate to ask questions and request a copy of these calculations.
To adequately calculate your heating needs, ask for a heating professional that is certified by the Corporation of Master Pipe Mechanics of Quebec (CMMTQ). We suggest that you call on more than one professional to help you verify and validate the results.
Dual energy consists in combining two sources of energy to supply a heating system.
Electricity is usually used as the main source and fuel oil or gas as the auxiliary source. Electricity is used during the major part of the heating season and auxiliary heating (fuel oil or gas) automatically takes over when temperatures drop (-12 ºC or -15 ºC according to the region). Users can take advantage of better rates, such as the Rate DT offered by Hydro-Québec. This preferential rate also applies to the entire electricity consumption of your home.
The main advantages of dual energy are that while you can enjoy a reduced rate and play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, dual energy also leads to the optimal management of the Quebec hydroelectric network by reducing the intensity of the need during periods of peak demand in cold temperatures.
The following factors must be taken into consideration when calculating the consumption of your air conditioner:
Here are some tools to help you calculate the consumption of your air conditioner:
Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada
You would like to cool your home but are hesitating between these two systems. Start by evaluating your heating needs!
A central air conditioner will only cool your home while a heat pump will air condition your home in summer and be used effectively to meet some of your heating needs. Thus, if you plan to replace or convert your current heating system, it would be profitable to consider buying a heat pump.
Before you reach a decision, take the time to evaluate and compare the advantages, savings and costs of these two options.
We would like to remind you that a high efficiency appliance that is ENERGY STAR® certified and features the output capacity that is suitable for you will help you save energy.
Before you buy an air conditioner, take the time to evaluate your needs and check… if you really need air conditioning!
Air conditioning leads to significant electricity consumption on hot summer days. Do not hesitate to consider other methods to keep your home cool before deciding to air condition your home.
Would your comfort requirements be satisfied by installing air conditioning in one or two rooms? An air conditioning unit could be what you need. Do you want your entire home to be air conditioned? Then a central air conditioner or heat pump would meet your requirements.
Whether you choose a central, window- or wall-mounted conditioner or a heat pump, it is best to select ENERGY STAR® certified energy efficient models which offer the best energy efficiency rating. These units or systems will help you consume less electricity, save money and preserve the environment.
Take the time to gather all the information you need to learn about air conditioning before you make your choice. Here are a few helpful links:
Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) Natural resources Canada:
The current requirements of the Novoclimat program for single-family houses do not demand the installation of an exterior exhaust for the central-vacuum cleaner.
While it is not required, it is recommended to consider installing this type of outlet to eject dust and pollutants outdoors.
Should you choose not to install one, be sure that your unit is equipped with a HEPA-type high-performance filtration system in order to preserve air quality and minimize the impact on the health of the occupants.
Although a list of eligible wood-fired stoves and fireplaces was previously produced and supported by the Novoclimat program, this tool is no longer available.
However, to be eligible to participate in the Novoclimat program, be sure to select a solid fuel-fired appliance that meets the following requirements:
To find out more about this subject, please consult section 1.7.1 of the Technical Requirements for Single-Family Houses, Two-Generation Houses, and Single-Family Houses with a Dwelling Unit.
We would like to point out that range hood requirements under the Novoclimat program mainly concern the minimum required air flow rate.However, maximum air flow rates are required under the following circumstances:
In the presence of solid fuel-fired appliances (wood-, wood granule- or biomass-burning appliances), the air flow rate of a range hood must be less than or equal to:
If you choose a range hood with an air flow rate that is greater than the maximum allowable capacity, the installation of a compensation mechanism will be mandatory.
To find out more about this subject, please consult sections 1.7.3 and 2.11.1 of the Technical Requirements for Single-Family Houses, Two-Generation Houses, and Single-Family Houses with a Dwelling Unit.
The Department sends the financial assistance request form to eligible homeowners directly through the mail.
If your Novoclimat-certified builder or your Novoclimat-certified pre-fabricated house manufacturer presented you with your Novoclimat Certificate or your Novoclimat Performance Certificate a few weeks ago and you are still waiting to receive your financial assistance request form, please call us at 1-866-266-0008.
The Novoclimat certificate is issued when all the requirements and procedures of the program have been completed and respected by the Novoclimat-certified builder.
The builder receives the documents approximately 4 weeks after the project has been certified. The builder is then required to present them to the homeowner.
Do not hesitate to call your builder to discuss this matter.
It is advisable to adjust the settings of the ventilation system to reflect the season.
In the fall, winter and spring:
In the summer:
In the summer, with an air conditioner:
At all times:
You would like to purchase a Novoclimat-certified house or have one built?
Here are the steps and procedures required under this program that must be respected by the homeowner and the contractor:
You are a developer and your project is eligible under the Novoclimat program for apartment buildings and condominiums? You have selected professional partners (architects and engineers) who have agreed to integrate the Technical requirements for apartment buildings and condominiums to the plans and specifications?
Consult Construction and renovation – Apartment buildings and condominiums to find out about all the documents that are needed to register a project.
We accept preliminary plans and specifications that are stamped (and completed at 70%) only if they integrate all the prescribed technical requirements of the Novoclimat program.
The architect must clearly indicate the pages and the details pertaining to the requirements of the program when filling out the form.
For more information about how to prepare your project for registration, please feel free to call us at 1 877-727-6655.
Training sessions and any information pertaining to the proposed regulatory requirements come under the control of the RBQ. You can find out more on the RBQ Web site at:
The additional costs associated with the proposed regulatory requirements will vary according to the type of dwelling, the location and the building practice with which they are compared. They should represent approximately 1 to 2% for an average size single-family dwelling and a small building with dwelling units built in the south of the province. What is saved on energy bills should greatly exceed these costs.
The regulatory requirements aimed at energy efficiency in buildings are contained in the Regulation respecting energy conservation in new buildings (c. E-1.1, r.1) arising from the Act respecting the conservation of energy in buildings (R.S.Q., c. E-1.1, amended by S.Q. 1983, c. 9).
The regulatory requirements aimed at the other aspects of buildings are contained in the municipal construction regulations and in the Québec Construction Code (CCQ) (B-1.1, r.0.01.01).
The Régie du bâtiment du Québec administers laws and regulations in buildings and adopts a construction code that is applicable to Québec. For more information, consult the List of laws, regulations and codes administered by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.
Finally, to check the building codes and standards that are in force in your municipality, contact your municipal building inspection department.
Energy consumption has a significant incidence on the budget of Québec households. Quebeckers deal with high energy costs, particularly those associated with heating their homes. Energy consumption also has an impact on energy supply during peak periods, on certain forms of energy and on greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is worthwhile to find out ways of reducing consumption as many possibilities present themselves to achieve this goal.
The most effective one, as well as the least costly for consumers, is to make sure that their dwellings are energy efficient, this means as early on as the construction phase.
That is why Québec is regulating the energy efficiency of buildings and proposing stricter regulatory requirements.
As a result, a draft regulation aiming to amend the Construction Code to introduce new energy efficiency requirements for residential buildings was published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on February 22, 2012. These requirements would enable Quebeckers to reduce their energy bills.
The regulation targets new buildings and enlargement work performed on residential buildings, such as single-family and multi-family dwellings, that house only dwelling units and their subsidiary occupancies, have a building area not more than 600 square meters and a building height not more than three storeys.
The regulation increases the energy efficiency requirements of new houses and dwelling units by improving the insulation of the roofs, walls and foundations, by increasing minimum requirements for doors and windows and by requiring the installation of ventilation systems that use heat recovery ventilators (HRVs).
More details are available on the RBQ Web site at:
More information and the terms of the proposed regulatory requirements are available on the Web site of the RBQ at: http://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/lois-reglements-et-codes/projets-de-reglement/en-processus-dadoption.html (in French)
While it can vary according to the type of dwelling, it is estimated that the energy performance of a dwelling that respects the proposed regulatory requirements could improve by approximately 25%.
The new requirements are inspired by the current Novoclimat program for new homes which has been operating since 1999 and has certified more than 17,000 housing units.
These requirements were also the subject of techno-economic evaluations to determine the levels of feasibility and profitability for the consumer as well as validations from different members of the construction industry collected during advisory committees, meetings and presentations.
No, Novoclimat certification is independent of regulatory requirements.
The ministry intends to continue improving the energy efficiency in buildings and is currently developing a new and improved version of the Novoclimat program.
The Novoclimat program continues to operate whether the draft regulation comes into force or not. The ministry intends to continue improving the energy efficiency in buildings and is currently developing a new and improved version of the Novoclimat program.
All information pertaining to the Novoclimat program is available on the Web site of the energy efficiency division of the MRNF under the Novoclimat section:
Financial assistance under the Rénoclimat program is not calculated with respect to the percentage of money invested but based on the nature of the work carried out; this includes all types of renovation work.
For more information and to find out about the conditions to qualify for financial assistance, feel free to consult our financial assistance section or contact us at 1 866 266-0008.
The test will not damage your house. The energy advisor conducts a series of verifications before the test to ensure that it runs smoothly. There is no need for you to remove the front door to install the blower test equipment; your front door simply needs to be open.
These conditions must be respected in order to take advantage of the preferential rates for the two energy evaluations and to be eligible for financial assistance under the Rénoclimat program.
The depressurization of the house during the test presents no danger for humans. There is no danger for pets such as cats and dogs, which easily tolerate drops in temperature.
Birds and exotic animals however, are more fragile. They should be kept in their cage and moved to the room with the least drafts. Aquarium fish should also be placed in that room.
The Department has drawn up a list of occupational skills and training that are required for becoming a Rénoclimat energy advisor. However, each service organization offering the Rénoclimat program may add other requirements when recruiting advisors.
You need to fill out, sign and return the first copy to us. You may keep the second copy for your files.
Some Québec organizations are looking for new applicants to be energy efficiency advisors for Rénoclimat program. If you are interested, please send your CV by e-mail to the companies of your region. They will communicate will communicate will the applicants who meet their needs.
Each service organization offering the Rénoclimat program is in charge of providing the Rénoclimat training program to its advisors. Training is always given by training officers who are mandated by the Department.
The blower door test presents no risks and can be carried out at any time of the year. Results obtained in winter are just as valid as results obtained in summer. Keep in mind, however, that if it is cold outside, the indoor temperature of the house will drop somewhat.
Work related to the conversion of a heating system (such as the replacement of an oil heating system with an electric system) is not eligible for financial assistance under the Rénoclimat program.
If you plan to convert your heating system to another form of energy between the first and second Rénoclimat evaluation, check with your energy efficiency advisor how this conversion could impact the amount of financial assistance you receive.
To schedule the first energy evaluation of your home, call the Department at 1-866-266-0008.
To schedule the evaluation after all the work has been completed, call the energy efficiency advisor who carried out the first evaluation of your home directly or call us at 1-866-266-0008.
Be sure to have the report from your first evaluation and your account number on hand.
Yes, even if your new home was already renovated under the Rénoclimat program, you can use this program yourself to renovate your home and apply for Rénoclimat financial assistance.
Yes, if you already participated in the Rénoclimat program to renovate your house, you can participate in this program again for the same house.
The first energy evaluation can last from 2 to 3 hours. The blower door test itself lasts about 30 minutes.
The second energy evaluation lasts about one hour, including the blower door test.
If the work listed below is not part of other renovations making it possible to improve the energy efficiency of your home (i.e. increasing its EnerGuide rating by 1 point or more), you will not be eligible to receive financial assistance:
Owners planning to expand their home should be advised that this type of work is not eligible for Rénoclimat financial assistance and can also reduce the amount of financial assistance calculated based on the surface area of the work.
Feel free to discuss this matter with your advisor during the first energy evaluation of your home!
An energy evaluation is a good investment!
Take advantage of having an energy efficiency expert in your home to discuss your renovation plans, your energy consumption concerns and the pertinence of the work you would like to undertake to save energy.
What is more, the advisor will draw up an evaluation report on the energy performance of your home. Based on the recommendations and advice of the advisor you will be able to determine the most appropriate renovations and reduce your heating bill, year after year! This report will also list points that you can bring up with your contractor, if appropriate.
The energy evaluation conducted before you start the renovation work is an excellent return on your investment, without taking into account the available financial assistance options.
Rénoclimat financial assistance is granted based on the nature of the work carried out and in many cases it is also based on the surface area covered by the work.
For more information and to find out about the conditions to qualify for financial assistance, feel free to consult our Financial Assistance section or contact us at 1-866-266-0008.
Before your scheduled appointment, the energy efficiency advisor will ask you take a few precautions:
If you have a pet that does not appreciate visitors, it would be preferable to place it in a cage. That way the animal will be safe and be out of the way during your appointment with the energy efficiency advisor.
Also, birds and exotic animals are more fragile. They should be kept in their cage and moved to the room with the least drafts. Aquarium fish should also be placed in that room.
Natural gas and fuel oil furnaces must be turned off during the blower door test. Wait until the energy efficiency advisor asks you to shut it off temporarily.
All air extraction devices (such as range hoods, dryers, central vacuum cleaners and bathroom fans) must be turned off during the blower door test.
We do not currently offer financial assistance for the purchase and replacement of doors and windows under the Rénoclimat program.
However, we would like to stress that this type of work serves to improve the air tightness of your home. Therefore, financial assistance could be offered if you reach or improve the air infiltration reduction target recommended in the energy advisor’s report.
For more information and to find out about the conditions to qualify for financial assistance, feel free to consult our Financial Assistance section or contact us at 1-866-266-0008.
If your principal source of energy is electricity, natural gas or propane, we do not currently offer financial assistance for the purchase and replacement of thermostats within the scope of our Rénoclimat program.
Different forms of support are directly offered by energy providers to replace conventional thermostats with electronic thermostats. Please consult Hydro Québec, Gaz Métro, or Gazifère based on the principal source of energy used in your home to find out more about the applicable conditions.
If your principal source of energy is fuel oil, you can take advantage of financial assistance options for the replacement of programmable thermostats used by the central heating system by participating in the Rénoclimat program. Certain conditions apply.
Duplexes, triplexes and 4 to 20 units residential buildings are eligible under the Rénoclimat program).
You can consult our eligibility criteria for habitations in the Normative Framework (pages 4 and 5) or contact us at 1-866-266-0008 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
First, check with the advisor who carried out the energy evaluation of your home. The contact information of the advisor can be found on the documents that were given to you after the energy evaluations were conducted.
However, if you received, filled out and returned your financial assistance form and still have yet to receive payment after six to eight weeks, please call us at 1-866-266-0008.
To select the service organizations for the Rénoclimat program, the AEE goes through a public call for tenders that is released on the SEAO Web site at www.seao.ca.
The companies and advisors that are called upon to represent the Rénoclimat program cannot be associated with retailers, suppliers or stores offering products or services that can improve the energy efficiency of a building or are in any way involved with the program in order to deliver the program in the most impartial manner possible.
The last Rénoclimat public call for tenders ended March 2011 and was used to select service organizations that would offer the Rénoclimat program until March 31, 2012 (with the possibility of two term renewals).
New tender notices may be published before the end of the current contracts in order to meet demand in certain regions. If you are interested, please visit the SEAO Web site regularly at www.seao.ca and type in key word “Rénoclimat”. All eligibility criteria and information that is useful to submit your company’s application will only be available at the time the next call for tenders is published.
Since 2009, the provincial government offers a tax credit for the acquisition or long-term lease of new energy efficient vehicles. The refundable tax credit varies between $1,500 and $8,000 based on the fuel consumption of the vehicle.
To consult the eligibility criteria and fill out request form TP-1029.8.36.EC-V – Tax Credit for the Acquisition or Lease of a New Energy-Efficient Vehicle, please consult the Web site of Revenu Québec.
Since January 1, 2012, the refundable tax credit for the purchase or lease of fuel-efficient vehicles are replaced to rebates for the first purchasers of hybrid or eco-electric vehicles. The rebate is deducted from the after-tax purchase or lease price.
For further information please consult the Web site vehiculeselectriques.gouv.qc.ca.
Years ago, houses were ventilated by simply opening the windows, the doors and by counting on all air movements (air infiltrations and exfiltrations) through the exterior walls. Still used in many homes, this ventilation method, known as natural, is not always practical, comfortable and is even less effective. Especially in winter!
The installation of mechanical ventilation makes it possible to control your home’s ventilation more effectively and increases the energy performance of your home. Since mechanical systems use electricity, it is particularly important to select a ventilation unit that allows you to recover heat and energy, such as a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV).
Finally, keep in mind that the installation of a mechanical ventilation system that pushes fresh air into each habitable room through ducts is mandatory for new houses under the current building standards and codes in effect.
In terms of habitable space, the heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is the type of unit that ensures better energy performance. In point of fact, the hot stale air is ejected outdoors and used to preheat the fresh air coming in through the system; therefore, less energy is used to bring inflowing air to a comfortable temperature.
Generally speaking, a good HRV yields between 60% and 80% of sensible heat recovery efficiency (SRE) (using hot stale air) at –25 ºC. Look for a model that meets these criteria and is certified by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI).
For more information, consult the guide on Heat Recovery Ventilators published by the Office of Energy Efficiency.
For bathroom fans, range hood fans and ceiling fans, look for ENERGY STAR certification. This way you can use products that consume less energy and make less noise.
The optimal relative humidity of a home should be between 35% and 50%. It is within this range that air contaminants are less likely to proliferate (bacteria, viruses, mushrooms, moths, etc.) therefore helping to reduce the chances of developing health problems.
The degree of humidity tends to increase naturally with the various activities performed in the home such as cooking, baths, showers and the use of the clothes dryer. To maintain an adequate level of humidity it is necessary to use appropriate ventilation (by increasing the flow of the central ventilation systems, using bathroom fans and range hood fans) when using certain rooms or appliances.