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R-2000: environmentally friendly homes

Why buy an R-2000 home? – Video

This video will show you what you’re getting when you buy an R-2000 home – and why buying one is a great idea.



So… here it is. One of the biggest moments of your life. One of the biggest DECISIONS in your life, too – buying a home.

You’ve probably done lots of research, most of it about the “W’s”:

  • Where you will live…
  • What size of home you will live in… 
  • Who your lender will be…
  • When you’ll take possession…

… Those kinds of things.

Well, we’re Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency and we’d like to talk to you… not about the “W’s”… but about the letter “R”.

Specifically, R-2000 – and why choosing a home that is built to Canada’s R-2000 standard is a very important, practical, smart, and forward-looking choice.

Here we go.

You may have heard the term R-Value. Here’s what it means: it’s the measure of how well the insulation in something like a home either keeps in… or keeps out… heat.

You may have also heard the phrase “R-2000”. Well, R-2000 is a voluntary housing standard – a benchmark that documents a whole series of things about how a home should be built in order to deliver high standards of energy efficiency. R-2000 homes are designed and built to have high R-values and greater energy efficiency throughout your home.

Natural Resources Canada, along with key industry stakeholders, developed the first R-2000 standard thirty years ago and we’ve monitored it and improved on it constantly.

In fact, every R-2000 home is constructed by a licensed and specially trained builder; evaluated, inspected and tested by an independent third-party energy advisor, and certified by the Government of Canada.

Over the past 30 years, thousands of Canadians have chosen these energy efficient homes that have helped them save money, enjoy healthier indoor air, and take positive steps for the environment, too. In fact, choosing an R-2000 home is a great way to minimize your ecological footprint by reducing your share of greenhouse gas emissions.

Now – here’s the most interesting part.

We’ve created a new, far more stringent R-2000 standard to meet the heightened expectations of today’s home buyer. R-2000 homes built to the 2012 Standard will meet energy efficiency requirements that have been increased by a whopping 50%.

In essence, we’ve taken the industry leading standard in energy efficiency… and made it even better.


Because costs for traditional fuels and electricity are so unpredictable…

Because we know we must battle hard to reduce harmful greenhouse gases…

Because we now know so much more about the importance of indoor air quality…

And when we consider our wonderful but sometimes cold and harsh, and always interesting climate like Canada’s… an R-2000 home is a bit like putting a big, comfy blanket around you, your family, and your investment!

Let’s take a look inside your R-2000 home. Here’s what you may find:

  • High insulation levels in walls, ceilings and basements
  • High-efficiency windows and doors
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems 
  • A balanced, whole-house mechanical ventilation system
  • Water-conserving toilets, showers, and faucets

Many R-2000 home builders also use building materials that are less toxic and have less of an impact on the environment. Talk to your builder about these options! 

So… what’s the bottom line?

As you take this very important step, calculating the W’s AND the R’s… it’s a chance for you to invest in the future. In the health of your family, in environmental responsibility, and in year-round comfort, too.

Yes, you will spend more for your R-2000 home – in the same way that you’d spend more for a vehicle that has advanced safety features or an appliance that gives you more energy efficient performance.

You will save money on your heating and cooling costs, and that’s a comforting thought, too!

Yes, buying a home is a big decision… that’s why choosing an R-2000 home makes a lot of sense.

R-2000. Expect more from your home.

[A message from the Government of Canada]


R-2000 homes are the most energy-efficient

R-2000 certified homes are one of the best homes you can buy, from an energy efficiency point of view. R-2000 new homes include high levels of insulation, clean-air features and other characteristics that help protect the environment.

For the homebuyer, this translates into energy savings, more comfort and a healthier living environment.

The updated R-2000 Standard

Every R-2000 home is built to the strict R-2000 Standard. R-2000 was developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in collaboration with others in the energy efficiency sector more than 35 years ago.

Home building technology is always changing and improving because of research. An updated R-2000 Standard came into effect in July 2012. Homes built to the new R-2000 Standard are on average 50% more energy-efficient than typical new homes built to code.

Construction sets R-2000 apart

It’s what goes into the construction of your R-2000 home that separates it from other homes on the market. R-2000 homes are built by innovative builders who use leading-edge building techniques.

In a typical R-2000 home you will find

  • high insulation levels in walls, ceilings and basements
  • high-efficiency windows and doors
  • high-efficiency heating
  • whole-house mechanical ventilation
  • minimal air leaking from the house
  • water-conserving fixtures such as taps and showerheads

Every R-2000 home is

  • constructed by trained builders
  • evaluated, inspected and tested by an independent third-party inspector
  • certified by the Government of Canada

You will get an R-2000 certificate and label

Every R-2000 homeowner will get an R-2000 certificate and label from NRCan. The certificate is given to the homeowner and the label is put on the electrical panel.

R-2000 Certificate

R-2000 Certificate

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This is an image of an R-2000 certificate. It lists the following information

  • municipal address
  • postal code
  • lot number or legal description
  • plan number or legal description
  • certificate No.
  • date and signature
R-2000 Label

R-2000 Label

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This is an image of a bilingual R-2000 label. It reads: This home meets the R-2000 Standard. For further details, please refer to the R-2000 Home Certificate or contact your local R-2000 office or Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency at 1 800 387-2000 (toll-free). Please consult your R-2000 Homeowner’s Manual and ensure that you are familiar with how to operate and maintain your R-2000 home.

There is a space below to include the home’s certificate number.

What you get when you choose an R-2000 home

Energy savings

Saving on your energy bills is important to consider when you buy a home, and R-2000 homes are some of the most energy-efficient on the market. Your designer and builder will choose the most effective and affordable way to build your R-2000 home for your local climate and how you live.

All R-2000 homes have high levels of insulation and an airtight building envelope, which translates into energy savings for you.

Your actual cost savings will depend on

  • the local costs of your main fuel source
  • the number of people living in the home
  • your lifestyle

Health benefits

For 35 years, R-2000 homes have set the standard for indoor air quality. With R-2000, you get clean-air features that go beyond those required by building codes. This includes a balanced, whole-house mechanical ventilation system that is professionally installed in every R-2000 home. The system removes stale air from your home and delivers fresh air to every room of the house.

To protect indoor air quality even more, you can ask your builder to use products that protect the indoor environment such as

  • carpet that is certified green
  • water-based paints and varnishes
  • an air filtration system

R-2000 homes are also designed to keep indoor moisture at the right level. This is important, since mould can grow if your home is too moist.

High-efficiency sealed-combustion heating systems also help make sure that dangerous combustion products don't get into your home and make your family sick.

More comfort

The high standards set for an R-2000 home certification ensure that you enjoy a more comfortable home.

Once it’s built, every R-2000 certified home is tested by a certified technician for airtightness. This, in combination with high-quality windows and well-insulated walls, will keep your house from being drafty and also keep the temperature steady inside.

R-2000 homes are designed to take advantage of the sun's energy during the winter. Energy-efficient windows can provide a larger window area and more light without boosting your heating costs.

Environmental benefits

By using much less energy for heating and cooling, you help meet Canada’s climate change goals, and reduce air pollutants. Your R-2000 builder will put extra effort into using resources efficiently and protecting the environment.

  • Lower greenhouse gases – The energy efficiency built into every R-2000 home helps lower greenhouse gases by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which we produce when we burn oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels, is the major cause of climate change. The average new home in Canada releases five tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • A market for recycled products – Many R-2000 certified homes are built with advanced building products made from recycled materials. These can include drywall, wood and steel studs, insulation, roofing, concrete and even carpeting. By providing a market for these new products, R-2000 helps make our recycling efforts work.
  • Reduced water use – Every R-2000 home comes with a number of water-saving fixtures; this means your community has less water to purify and less sewage to treat. Water conservation makes great environmental sense. It also cuts your monthly energy and utility costs.

The difference between R-2000 and ENERGY STAR®

ENERGY STAR® certified new homes built to the new standard are on average 20 percent more energy efficient than those built to code. R-2000 certified homes are best-in-class energy-efficient homes with higher levels of energy efficiency than ENERGY STAR® certified new homes. They also have clean air and environmental features.

Buy or build an R-2000 home

The first step for homeowners interested in buying or building a new R-2000 home is to find a licensed R-2000 builder.

R-2000 builders are trained

Every R-2000 home is built by a licensed R-2000 builder. To get an R-2000 licence, your builder takes R-2000 training and then keeps up to date with refresher courses.

If you are looking to buy an R-2000 home, look for the R-2000 mark when you are shopping around. Make sure your builder is R-2000 licensed by NRCan. Only homes built by NRCan R-2000-licensed builders can be R-2000 certified.

Will an R-2000 home cost more?

Yes, you will spend more for your R-2000 home – in the same way you would spend more for an appliance that gives you more energy-efficient performance. By choosing an R-2000 home, you get a great place to live that will save you money right away on heating and cooling. It will also give you a return on your investment in the long run.

Why buy an R-2000 home? – Video

This video will show you what you’re getting when you buy an R-2000 home – and why buying one is a great idea.

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