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Virtual Home Energy Reports and Building Labels: Differences and Examples

What information is included in a virtual home energy report? With building labeling legislation rolling out across Canada and the US, citizens and stakeholders are rightfully curious about what this means for them. As homeowners ourselves, the team at Climative is doing our part to ensure this legislation is deployed in a way that is collaborative, transparent and focused on reaching ambitious climate goals. 

In this article, we’ll focus on one piece of the puzzle: what is included in a virtual home energy report? Not all home energy reports and building labels are the same, but the examples in this article will be a great place to start your research. 

Download our whitepaper to learn more about how AI can be used to generate fast, accurate, and secure virtual home energy assessments. 

What is a virtual home energy report?

A virtual home energy report (sometimes called a virtual home energy label, building label, or virtual home energy assessment) is a digital document that provides information about a home’s energy efficiency and carbon emissions. If the report includes personalized retrofit recommendations, it is sometimes referred to as a low-carbon plan.

What type of information is included in a virtual home energy report?

Although not every virtual home energy report is the same, there are some common elements. Most reports include: 

  • Estimated annual energy use. 
  • Estimated annual carbon emissions. 
  • Energy use breakdown by heating, cooling, water, and appliances. 


More thorough virtual home energy reports might include: 

  • Suggested retrofit packages and their projected impact on energy and emissions. 
  • Cost breakdown. 
  • A pathway to access financial incentives and tailored resources. 
  • Disclosure of the data used to generate the report. 

What does a virtual home energy report look like?

A virtual home energy report communicates a home’s energy efficiency and emissions with graphics and text. The contents of reports are customized for their intended use. For example, a building label on a real estate listing might contain less information than a low-carbon plan accessed through an interactive web-based portal. 

Click the image below to see an example of a home energy report. Click here to see a mobile version. 

Climative home energy report desktop pdf with retrofit recommendations
Click to expand

How is the data gathered for a virtual home energy report?

There are several ways to gather the data to create a virtual home energy report. The data collection method depends on the data available and the information needed for the report. Some of the common ways to collect the necessary data include: 

  • AI-based mass-market assessments that use public data sources like property assessments 
  • Energy usage data from utilities or homeowners 
  • Surveys and questionnaires 
  • Remote energy assessments performed over the phone or web conference 
  • On-site home energy assessments 

Is a home energy label the same as a home energy report?

Throughout this article, these terms are used interchangeably. However, labels and reports can differ significantly between regions and can be based on the amount of information presented. Generally speaking, reports provide more detailed information than a home energy label. Since building labeling legislation is so new, there are some inconsistencies in the terms used to describe home energy reports and labels. 

We don’t think this will be the case for long, however, since building labeling mandates are now coming from the federal government in Canada, and the US is not far behind. Dozens of jurisdictions across North America are implementing building labeling, including British Columbia, Prince Edward Island,  OttawaMinneapolis, and many more. Climative is working with our partners to establish standards for a consistent, collaborative, and scalable approach to home energy reporting. 

We invite you to download our whitepaper “Scaling Net-Zero Retrofits” to learn more about: 

  • Why a virtual approach to home energy assessments is necessary to meet climate goals 
  • The three different types of virtual home energy assessments 
  • Details on how Climative uses AI to create mass-market home energy assessments 
  • Use cases for the Climative data platform 
  • And more 

Download the Whitepaper "Scaling Net-Zero Retrofits"

Winston Morton

Winston Morton

Winston has 25 years experience as a leader in the telecommunications and utility industries. His in-depth knowledge of energy analysis and large-scale web-based platform deployments informs Climative's strategy in his role as CEO.


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