I have just completed the certification training for Net-Zero and R-2000 homes in Ottawa. The net zero portion is a pilot program run by EnerQuality and the Canadian Home Builders Association, with support from Natural Resources Canada.
A Net Zero home is a home that was designed and built to produce as much energy as it uses. This would include heating, lighting and all electrical loads for the things we like to do in our homes. For example, over the last five years in our home we have produced an average of 109% of our energy needs using solar electric panels and a ground source heat pump. The chart above shows our best year where we produced 120% of our needs because it was a great summer to produce and milder winter for heating.
The R-2000 program is a natural fit to piggy back the Net Zero program onto because R-2000 homes are designed to be 50% more energy efficient than code built homes. This is done through higher levels of insulation and a great amount of detail paid to keeping the home tight, ventilating fresh air into it, and using high efficiency equipment.
In fact, we now have the "2030 Challenge" where all new buildings, developments, and major renovations shall be carbon-neutral by 2030. We have all the technology and know-how to do this. It's a reachable goal!