New Brunswick should have mandatory labelling for the energy efficiency of homes and buildings, members of the province's select committee on climate change were told Thursday.

Mandatory labelling of the energy efficiency of homes is used in some states in the United States, but in Canada it is voluntary.

Robert Hoadley of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers made the suggestion Thursday in an appearance before the committee at the legislature.

Hoadley would like to see New Brunswick establish regulations requiring labelling for home energy efficiency and also adopt National Energy Code standards.

In New Brunswick, 74 per cent of homes were built prior to 1980 and much less energy efficient than newer homes.

"Buildings are massive users of energy," said Hoadley.

The National Energy Code of 2016 recommends higher insulation levels in homes, but New Brunswick has not adopted that code.

Hoadley's society has developed a system to establish a building's energy quotient. Hydro Quebec is adopting that quotient.

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Rob Hoadley appeared before the legislature's select committee on climate change in Fredericton on Thursday. (CBC)

"My key recommendation is that there is a requirement to educate the public on the energy efficiency of the buildings," said Hoadley outside the hearing room.

Giving home buyers and home builders access to energy efficiency labelling "allows us to nudge the market toward more energy efficient buildings and toward buildings that are going to be responsible for less greenhouse gas emissions."

Hoadley would like to see New Brunswick establish regulations requiring labelling for home energy efficiency and adopt the National Energy Code requirements.

"We feel as a society that with these energy codes and with these energy standards, we can create buildings that are going to be occupied for the next 25 to 75 years and build them more efficiently."

With files from Catherine Harrop