Are you looking to build or purchase a new, more energy efficient home?
Maybe something a little different that can also save you
money on your utility bills?
Well, you might want to consider a net-zero-energy home.
Welcome to Science at Work, a video series where we showcase
the great work of the scientists and engineers
at Natural Resources Canada.
So what is a net-zero-energy home, you might ask?
Well, while it’s not exactly "off the grid,"
it's a home built to reduce the net amount of energy
used by a household to zero by incorporating leading-edge,
energy efficient technology and generating electricity.
A net-zero-energy home includes
renewable energy systems, such as solar power, but it’s still connected to the electricity grid.
It can supply to the grid when
it’s producing electricity and draw from it when needed.
Over the course of a year, the energy supplied to the grid
balances the energy drawn from the grid.
This is what we call "net-zero energy."
Researchers at Natural Resources Canada helped demonstrate
the concept for the first net-zero-energy homes,
this led directly to the development of houses
now being built across Canada as part of the
“net-zero-energy community demonstration project.”
Through this project, five homebuilders across Canada are
building a total of twenty-six net-zero energy homes
and – in the process – are figuring out
how to make net-zero-energy homes more affordable.
Here are some of the features that could be included
in a net-zero energy home:
Photovoltaic solar panels that convert sunlight to electricity.
Airtight construction to prevent heat loss and reduce drafts.
Significantly improved insulation and windows .
High efficiency space heating,
hot water and ventilation systems that can significantly
lower your energy consumption.
Drain water heat recovery systems that take the heat
from hot water from shower drains and use it to
preheat the cold fresh water coming into the home
And home energy displays that allow you to monitor your energy use
and energy production.
Now, why is there a need for net-zero energy homes?
Well, home energy consumption accounts for about 15 percent
of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions,
so, the more energy efficient homes we have,
the better it is for the environment.
That is why Natural Resources Canada is working with industry
to develop and evaluate
technologies that will make
our homes more energy efficient, sustainable and affordable.
This is just one of the many ways that we at
Natural Resources Canada support all the facets of natural
resource development and use in an effort to improve the
quality of life of Canadians.
For more information on the net-zero energy project,
please visit our website.
Thank you and see you next time.