WHAT IS A NET ZERO ENERGY HOME?

A Net Zero Energy (NZE), as defined by the California Energy Commission, is a building for which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal to the amount of energy used by the building, over the course of one year.
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COUNTING DOWN TO NET ZERO

The California Energy Commission has a stated goal of requiring all residential buildings to be Net Zero Energy by 2020 and all commercial buildings by 2030. Similar targets are in place for the province of Ontario, Canada and the city of Vancouver, B.C., requiring all new residential buildings to be Net Zero Energy by 2030.

HOW TO ACHIEVE NET ZERO EFFICIENCY

A Net Zero Energy (NZE) building needs to achieve a balance between the on-site production of energy and the energy it consumes over the course of one year. A more efficient home will require less energy to be produced, while a home with high energy requirements will need a larger production capacity.

A Net Zero Energy building is not necessarily an off-the-grid home. In order to respond to peak demands and periods of lower energy production (such as reduced sunlight in winter, for solar), a NZE building may purchase energy from, and sell back to the grid as required.

STEP 1: INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY
  • Efficient building construction
  • Efficient systems and appliances
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Change in personal behaviour
STEP 2: ENERGY PRODUCTION
  • Address remaining needs with on-site renewable energy generation, such as wind, solar or hydro.

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