The harsh climate of Quebec makes energy-efficient doors and windows a necessity. Energy Star certification assures you of a product’s energy efficiency, no matter which one of Quebec’s climate zones you live in, but even uncertified products can be energy efficient.


New Energy Star requirements for 2020


Energy Star implemented its standards years ago to recognize residential products that respond to stringent criteria in terms of eco-responsibility, with the goal of significantly reducing energy waste. Since then, numerous products ranging from doors and windows to home appliances have been Energy Star certified. Effective January 1, 2020, the Canadian government implemented new specifications that are much stricter than before. This makes it easier for consumers to make sure they’re achieving maximum insulation so they can save even more money on their utility bills.


Only the top 20 percent of energy-efficient products sold in Canada now qualify for certification. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the doors and windows that are not currently Energy Star certified are of poor quality. The new regulations naturally favor certain categories of products, for example, triple thermopane windows, which offer incomparable levels of insulation, and fixed windows (windows that don’t open). Likewise, they automatically exclude other categories, such as windows with multiple panes or false grids.


Previously divided into three different climate zones, as of January 1, 2020, all of Canada has been lumped into a single zone. This climate zone determines residents’ needs in terms of energy efficiency. Only products that meet the specifications of this zone qualify for Energy Star certification. Considering the harshness of our climate, the requirements are very strict.


Measuring the energy efficiency of a window


To make an informed decision when the time comes to purchase new windows, it’s important for you to understand the values that represent the products’ energy efficiency.


  • The R-value designates the insulating properties or thermal resistance of a material or product. The higher the rating, the better insulation the product provides. For example, the Building Code requires the insulation used in walls, ceilings, doors and windows to have a certain R-value in order to be compliant.
  • The U-factor, determined by a product’s heat transfer coefficient, represents the product’s resistance to temperature fluctuations. A low number is desirable as it means that the product will prevent indoor heat from escaping through the home’s windows during the winter and prevent outdoor heat from entering the home during the summer.
  • Finally, the EP (energy performance) rating is calculated using a formula that establishes a balance between a product’s U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and air leakage. The higher the EP rating, the more energy efficient the product will be.


Various factors influence the energy-efficient performance of doors and windows. The performance value is the result of some or all of these factors.


Consult the specialists at one of our locations to learn more about Energy Star-certified products and other excellent products from our suppliers and discover the advantages of each one.