Canadian Contractor

CHBA qualifies first home with Net Zero Energy renovation label


August 13, 2020
By Canadian Home Builders’ Association

Build Topics

The first home to receive a Net Zero Renovation Label in Canada.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has announced the first Net Zero Energy home renovation labelled under its recently launched Net Zero Energy Renovation Labelling Program pilot. The house, renovated by RenoMark member Solar Homes of Calgary, Alta., was originally built in 1985 and now has achieved a net-zero energy rating.

Net Zero Energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis. While there have been almost 400 NZE homes built and labelled in Canada under CHBA’s program since 2016, achieving net-zero energy through renovations is a new frontier with many additional challenges.

“Homes built to code today are much more efficient than they were in the past. For that reason, retrofitting older homes is what is necessary to make substantial improvements to residential sector greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. CHBA’s pilot for our Net Zero Energy Renovation Labelling Program supports continued improvement in the performance of Canada’s existing housing stock, which is where we need to focus to address climate change when it comes to housing – and of course that comes with the many benefits of net-zero housing, like lower energy bills and greater comfort for homeowners,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee.

Solar Homes president Peter Darlington and his team are excited about being the first to achieve this milestone under CHBA’s recently launched pilot program. The renovation focused on retrofitting the exterior of the home, which minimizes disruption to occupants and results in an extremely comfortable home. In addition to decreasing the home’s energy bills – estimated to be around $2500 lower than before – the renovation has resulted in completely netting out the home’s GHGs emissions, which was previously 14 tonnes per year.

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The accomplishment is more meaningful because Darlington is the homeowner. As such, he will be able to monitor the decrease in energy bills and enjoy the improvements to the home’s comfort. The Solar Homes Inc. team has been using this experience to grow their business and is sharing details of the project to help other renovators who are interested in applying their approach.