How to Change to Net Zero?

The process is relatively simple but takes time and an investment. Luckily the investment pays for itself over time and is cheaper than traditional building systems. To change to Net Zero one typically;

 

  • Changes their building's electric's electric supply to solar. This offset's any GreenHouse Gas (GHG) produced by your electrical generation supplier and is considerably cheaper than your current costs.

  • Adds appropriate insulation and building sealing where required. Very high levels of insulation and sealing are not required. You only add insulation when little or no insulation currently exists and typically in the attic or basement. Sealing is only required in drafty houses (think "old farmhouse drafty").

  • Transitions the space heating from fossil fuel (natural gas, fuel oil, propane) or electric resistance to an electric heat pump and offset's the annual space heating energy consumption with solar power. This is the biggest single impact you can do for the environment (even better than switching to an Electric Vehicle) and it's likely cheaper than how you heat your home now.

  • Transitions the Domestic Hot Water (DHW) heating from natural gas (fossil fuel) to electric resistance or a Domestic Hot Water heater heated by an electric heat pump and offset's the annual DHW heating energy consumption with solar power. The replacement cost of an electric resistance DHW heater is less than a natural gas DHW heater.

Make the Net Zero Transition over time!

That's right, you don't have to change you entire house's space and DHW heating systems immediately. You do it as these components reach the end of their natural lives and require replacement. 

This graph shows the proposed Energy Conservation Measure and the year it will be implemented. This allows the owner to use the full benefit of their existing equipment and allow for financing to occur over time to build capital for the equipment to be replaced.

 

We identify the size of your house's current electrical load from your last 2 years of electric bills will recommend the size of solar panels to install right away to reduce your electric bills and the GHG produced by that usage.

Next we identify if your house has serious insulation or air sealing deficiencies and will recommend insulation and sealing upgrades as required. Again only very low insulation and very poor sealing issues need to be addressed as solar panels and heat pumps are now a typically less expensive way of addresses these deficiencies. We can identify these issues with a visit to your home or you can have an NRCan Energy Audit identify these issues. If you use the NRCan Energy Audit, you may qualify for upgrade incentives.

 

We identify your house's space and DHW energy consumption from your utility bills (electric and fossil fuel bills). Then calculate the replacement space heating (furnace or boiler) and DHW sizes as required. We recommend the replacement of these components at the end of their lives and suggest local contractors who can make these replacement for you at the end of their natural lives.

Note the same process is done for buildings larger than houses.

See our fees webpage for the planning costs.

© 2020 by the Building Science Trust inc. Design by Ben