Everything you need to know about Lightspark is here.
A Lightspark Score is a number that represents the total amount of energy consumed and carbon emitted by a dwelling. Our platform utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to generate this score, and to make the process of improving your home’s energy efficiency simple and comprehensive.
The scores range from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating less energy used and less carbon released. Both factors are weighed equally at 50 percent each. Lightspark’s platform generates these scores using international building scoring methodologies. Every dwelling’s Lightspark Score is locally scaled against other homes in the same city or region. This way, you can be sure that your score is relevant to the place you call home.
Beyond providing your home’s score, Lighstpark will also provide comprehensive and energy-smart recommendations to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your emissions. This has the added benefit of making your home more comfortable, reducing your power bills, and increasing the value of your house. In addition, our software finds the best home improvement incentives, and we can match you with loan programs to help you improve your home, make it more comfortable and create a higher home value.
The energy score is measured by Gigajoules of energy (GJ). The Energy Score is one of two key components of a home’s overall Lightspark Score. Our platform makes use of granular property level data on homes in communities across Canada, and advanced AI-enabled algorithms to generate the Energy Score.
This numerical value represents how well a home’s appliances, envelope, upgrades, etc., help it to reduce the amount of energy it uses, measured in GJ. The score makes up 50 percent of a home’s total Lightspark Score.
Much like the Energy Score, the Carbon Score is one of two key components of a home’s overall Lightspark Score. The Lightspark platform uses machine learning, AI-enabled algorithms, and granular data on each property in a community to create the score.
The Carbon Score represents how well a home’s appliances, envelope, upgrades, etc., help it reduce the amount of emissions it reduces. Along with the Energy Score, the Carbon Score makes up 50 percent of a home’s total Lightspark Score.
Lightspark’s technology is a modernized version of the Energuide rating that innovates on the Energuide technology and provides homeowners with an easy-to-understand 0-100 Lightspark Score, Energy Score (measured in GJ) and a carbon (measured in annual emissions) . In fact, Lightspark uses Energuide data in its calculations and approach. Lightspark uses Artificial Intelligence and algorithms to predict your initial home score. From there, homeowners can take digital home survey that uses building calculations to estimate their scores, and see high-level recommendations. The benefits of the digital home survey is that a homeowner can learn about the current and potential state of their home within minutes.
The Energuide rating relies on an energy advisor to come to your home and measure the efficiency of your home through entering various data inputs into the Energuide software that can give comprehensive calculations of the home’s assets and energy use. The Energuide rating is measured primarily in energy (the GJ of energy your home uses). Often the Energuide process can take a long time from waiting for an energy advisor to come to the house, and then performing the audit.
The Lightspark technology can help a homeowner understand their homes and “get to first base” much faster. Lightspark hopes to connect energy advisors to its software to be able to do what consumers expect today, using digital technology to solve problems with more ease, efficiency and speed. In turn, this will help Canadians increase their energy and financial literacy and have better “decision assistance” on what home improvements they can make to save money, improve comfort and increase the value of their home.
Lightspark’s Energy Map provides a visual breakdown of Lightspark Scores across a city, town, or region. Each single-family dwelling is colour-coded according to the score our platform generates based on their energy consumption and carbon emissions. The colour scale ranges from green, a particularly energy efficient home, to red, a home that requires more work. The map and its intuitive search function allows you to see how your property stacks up against neighbouring homes, and homes across the municipality.
The Lightspark Energy Map is also an invaluable tool for municipal governments and real estate agents. The simple graphical interface gives city, town and region staff a wealth of insight into how homes in their jurisdictions are powered, and how neighbourhoods could be targeted for energy efficiency rebates and incentives. The granular, property-level data in the map can also help them understand the nature of local homes, and create tailored programs to help homeowners reduce their energy consumption and the locality itself cut down on emissions.
For REALTORS, the Energy Map provides essential information both about the neighbourhoods in their municipality, and the individual homes within it. The tool gives them an easy way to understand the nature of energy consumption and efficiency in specific neighbourhoods and regions. Coupled with Lightspark’s ability to produce energy efficiency roadmaps for individual homes, the map can help REALTORS understand both the present and the future of the parts of town in which they work. The data can also help them sell individual properties with outstanding scores, or properties in desirable neighbourhoods with high rates of efficient homes. Armed with this data, REALTORS can provide recommendations for sellers looking to improve their property’s energy efficiency value before putting their home on the market. REALTORS can also give buyers a roadmap to improve their purchase’s score once the property is in their possession.
What Assets make up My Home?
Your primary heating system is the main way your house is heated. Some common examples are furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and electric baseboards.
Your secondary heating system is any way your house is heated in specific areas or during specific times—i.e., not the way you heat your entire home in day-to-day life. Some common examples are electric baseboards, wood or natural gas fireplaces, or even a back-up furnace for the coldest parts of winter.
Your hot water system keeps your shower and taps running hot, and is the second largest consumer of energy in most homes. Tankless or Instantaneous hot water systems use 50 percent less energy than most conventional tank systems.
Your ceiling or attic insulation helps prevent heat escape from the top of your house (where the bulk of warmth is lost). Insulation is rated with an R-value. The higher the R-value the greater insulation performance. This results in more savings on your power bill. New homes are often built with insulation values of R60 (RSI 10.56).
Your wall insulation prevents heat loss through the walls. Insulation is rated with an R Value. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation performance. This results in more savings on your power bill. New homes are often built with wall insulation values of R24 (RSI 6.2).
Your foundation insulation prevents heat loss from the base of your home. Your foundation insulation depends on the type of foundation/crawl space/basement your home has. Insulation is rated with an R-value. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation performance. This results in more savings on your power bill. New homes are often built with foundation insulation values of R13 (RSI 2.5).
The glass in windows helps keep heat in your home. Windows are commonly rated by the number of panels of glass in one frame, with each extra panel adding space to insulate your house from the outside. Windows are rated by U-value which is defined as the ability of an element to transmit heat from a warm space to a cold space in a building, and vice versa.
Doors are another entry point for cold or hot air into your home. A new or thich door or even just a proper seal can keep your home less drafty in the colder months and keep cold air in during the heat of the summer.
Air tightness represents how well your home keeps air inside. Leaks can appear in numerous places such as windows, outside-facing vents, attic hatches, etc. Air tightness is measured using a blower door test that measures the air changes per hour (when pressurized at 50 Pascals) (ACH).
What Makes Up My Envelope?
Lightspark Recommendations for My Home
Lightspark provides energy efficiency and low-carbon recommendations to help you improve your home. We run each potential upgrade through our energy modeling software to see what the impact of this upgrade is for your property.
From there, we present the results based on your goals for your home, like reducing your carbon footprint, and getting annual energy savings on your utility bills.
Through the Recommendation Explorer you can select one of our bundles for you, or review different commercially available products manually.
All of our recommendations are evaluated against existing rebate programs in your jurisdiction that you may qualify for.
We continually update our platform with new available rebate programs for jurisdictions across the country. We then evaluate how you can best mix and match from relevant programs to get the most rebates available for your home. You can see which products and bundles are available for your home in the Recommendation Explorer.
The main system that generates heat which is distributed throughout the rest of a building. These include furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps.
Sources of heat designed to heat only a specific part of a house. These include fireplaces and backup furnaces.
“Annual Furnace Utilization Efficiency,” a standardized measurement of how effectively a furnace turns its fuel into heat.
The thermal resistance value of insulation in the metric system.
The thermal resistance value of insulation in the Imperial system.
A measurement of the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pump cooling.
How insulating glass is, such as in windows. How much heat is lost through glass.
A calculated numerical value for a property’s carbon emissions. The higher the score, the less amount of carbon a house releases.
A calculated numerical value for a property’s energy use. The higher the score, the less energy is used.
The combined value of the Carbon Score and the Energy Score. Together, these two factors denote the overall energy efficiency of a home.
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Currently Lightspark is operational in two Canadian municipalities: Calgary and Edmonton. However, we plan on expanding across Canada and into the United States. Want to learn more? Click here to contact us.
Lightspark is designed to empower homeowners to make informed decisions that can reduce their energy use and emissions, while also saving them money on their power bills. We have also made the platform available to REALTORS so they can learn more about the importance of energy efficiency in their trade. For municipalities, it can help them create targeted energy efficiency incentives, and aid them in urban planning.
Energy efficiency is an effort to cut down on energy usage and carbon emissions through several core items in your home. These can be as simple as better insulation but they also include more complex upgrades like smart thermostats. Lightspark provides tools to create your energy efficiency roadmap for single family homes to increase their energy efficiency by identifying concrete steps homeowners can take to upgrade their properties. Beyond reducing the amount of carbon a home emits, energy efficiency can save homeowners on their power bills.
Our platform uses smart property-level data and artificial intelligence to create a score of between 0 and 100 to represent a house’s energy use and carbon emissions (a higher score represents less carbon emitted and less energy used). This Lightspark Score also comes with recommendations for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their properties.
There are many property updates and products a homeowner can choose from to increase their Lightspark Score. These can include using LED lighting, energy efficient windows, better insulation, updated HVAC systems, smart thermostats, tankless hot water heaters, solar panels and more.
Right now, Lightspark is focused solely on single-family dwellings. As such, some properties such as duplexes, townhouses, and condos are not yet available. However, we will update the platform to include them in the future.
We use Artificial Intelligence to train data to provide you with better information about the current state of your home assets, and to help you make smarter decisions on the right home upgrades.
Lightspark models its data from open and proprietary data which includes the following:
Federal and Provincial Emissions Data
Open City Data acquired through Open Data Licenses
Open Street Maps
Modelled Energy Data
My Home Survey data