What is a Zero Energy Home?
A Zero Energy Home is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
These buildings consequently do not increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They do at times consume non-renewable energy and produce greenhouse gases, but at other times reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production elsewhere by the same amount.
Most zero net energy buildings get half or more of their energy from the grid, and return the same amount at other times. Buildings that produce a surplus of energy over the year may be called “energy-plus buildings” and buildings that consume slightly more energy than they produce are called “near-zero energy buildings” or “ultra-low energy houses”.
The Harmony House in Burnaby, built by Insightful Healthy Homes Inc., produces more energy from on-site renewable energy systems than it consumes in a year. The home is a highly insulated airtight building featuring vacuum insulated panels and triple glazed windows. It incorporates both passive solar heating, a solar domestic hot water system and grid-connected photovoltaic panels. Ultimately, this home is an energy efficient, healthy home with a low environmental impact.
We are currently building a near-zero energy building in Abbotsford. Stay tuned for future updates on our exciting project!