Imagine living in a home that produces renewable energy equal to the total amount consumed each year in the form of heat, light and power. Sound impossible?
The Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition doesn’t think so. In fact, its goal is to see all new construction in Canada meeting a net-zero standard by 2030. So far, it has convinced the federal housing agency, through its EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, to get the ball rolling with 12 pilot projects across the country, including Moncton’s VISION Home.
According to the coalition, housing is responsible for 17% of energy use and 16% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. A net-zero home would dramatically change those statistics.
Once the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium demonstration homes are completed, they’ll be open to the public for six months for tours so Canadians can learn about what’s involved in lessening their home’s footprint on the environment.
But why wait for a project to come to a city near you?
Here are the basics of a net-zero home:
• Integrated renewable energy systems, such as solar electricity and thermal heat, ground-source heating and passive solar heating and cooling.
• Grid interconnection to allow the home to deliver excess electricity back to the grid.
• A climate-specific solar design tailored to take advantage of the local climate and natural environment.
• Natural “daylighting” through domes and rainwater collection.
• Low pollutant-emitting construction materials and finishes, continuous fresh air supply to all rooms and exhaust air extraction from kitchens and bathrooms.
• Energy- and resource-efficient construction methods, appliances and lighting.
The benefits? The most obvious is low utility bills. But keeping your family and the environment healthy? Priceless!
What are you doing to keep your home’s environmental footprint small?