Making Net Zero Energy Homes the New Norm

by Jan 30, 2016General Home Advice, Sustainability

The New Norm

A home that can run off of only the energy that it produces. That is a few years away some would say, but in actuality we are getting closer to that statement becoming the new norm. As of now, there are people taking the initiative to build the house of their dreams and make the investment in reducing the amount of energy from the grid they rely on. Some of these people have even attained net zero energy consumption in their homes, which is an amazing feat that helps cut down on monthly energy expenses. In a series created by Green Energy Futures, they highlight the select few who are leading the way in creating net zero homes in Canada, including Les Wold:

 

 

Some of the major conclusions from these videos (there are many of them so I would recommend everyone to watch more of them) are that the sun and an air tight house are your best friends. In multiple videos, these net zero homes rely on solar panels to power their homes and also use the power of sunlight to retain heat in their floors. Additionally, all of these houses make sure that they are utilizing high R-value insulation in the correct places, which helps keep the warm air in during the winter and warm air out in the summer months. Creating a net zero energy consumption home is very easy, people just need to understand each of the concepts that contribute to the overall goal. Ted Clifton of Clifton View Homes explains the necessary steps to create a net zero home in colder climates like Canada:

 

I was initially going to go into detail about the methods shown to create a net zero home, but when I found Mr. Clifton’s video I was amazed at the way he explained the concepts of an energy efficient home is his stepwise presentation. Although, I do suggest learning more about the finer details he talked about, such as thermal mass, SIP’s (Structural Insulation Panels), and heating and cooling your home (to name a few) with the various types of systems. I have included some useful sites that go over these and many more of the topics he touched on in the video. The main takeaway from these videos is that net zero is very attainable, and should be the goal when people build their new homes. There have even been cases of positive energy homes, as shown in Mr. Clifton’s video, which is an even greater feat because you are essentially making money from your home. People are too caught up in saving money during the renovation that they do not realize that the real savings comes after an energy efficient renovation is completed, and those are the dollars that count the future. BVM Contracting wants to be part of your net zero journey, because we believe that this concept will turn into the new norm of residential home construction.

Geothermal Heating Information

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/geothermal-energy/tech.html

Air Source Heat Pump Information

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/publications/efficiency/heating-heat-pump/6831

Solar Panel Information

http://costofsolar.com/cost-of-solar-panels-10-charts-tell-you-everything/

http://www.solaricity.ca/products.php#products

Ontario Program for Installing Solar Panels

http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca/

Thermal Mass (cement floors)

http://sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/buildings/thermal-mass

Structural Insulated Panel’s vs Insulated Concrete Forms’s

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/better-building-homes-icf-sip-65366.html

Ryan Meagher, Guest Blogger, BVM Contracting - Home Addition and Home Renovation Contractor.

About the Author

Ryan Meagher

Business Development, BVM Contracting

A graduate of chemical engineering from Queen's University, Ryan has spent many summers working with BVM Contracting in various roles and projects. This experience has provided him with a unique view on the residential construction industry which he loves sharing with you!