The building blocks of minimum energy performance standards

Blog (link) September 2021


  • Effective minimum energy performance standards are typically aligned with specific policy outcomes. In Canada, this means both energy use intensity and greenhouse gas emissions targets for existing buildings.
  • Building labelling and benchmarking informs the development and implementation of minimum energy performance standards. In Canada, we can leverage our existing EnerGuide and Energy Star Portfolio programs.
  • If we want to see sharp reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, absolute performance metrics offer a simple approach to setting and achieving energy and emissions targets.
  • Canada needs to find ways to quickly implement MEPS. We can take advantage of new technologies and tools and learn from other jurisdictions.

Part 1 of this series introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) as regulated standards that set limits on energy use or carbon emissions for existing buildings. Developed as progressive tiers and aligned with Canada's climate and energy objectives, MEPS use building performance benchmarks to identify those buildings with below-average performance - individually or in aggregate - and bring them up to a standard consistent with our national net-zero emission goals.

But first, much like a building itself, MEPS require a solid foundation upon which a sound structure can be built. In this article, we look at some of the core considerations for policymakers as they seek to design and implement the building blocks of an effective MEPS.