With all the talk of net-zero homes going on today, one might be wondering, what exactly is this all about and is it for me? We took a look into this new real estate trend to give you the answers to all of your questions.
What is a net-zero home?
A net-zero home is a home that produces as much clean energy as it uses annually. Through renewable resources, such as solar power, they tend to be up to 80% more energy efficient than your typical new house on the market today. Aside from solar power, these homes also save energy through air tightness, enhanced insulation, superior indoor air quality, triple-glazed windows, and lighting that is energy efficient. As for the appliances, they must have the highest efficiency ratings on the market in order to be considered in such a home.
Why have a net-zero home?
There are many apparent benefits of owning a net-zero home, the first being economic. It is said that from the moment you move into your home until the day you move out, your bills will be stay the same and not be affected by rising energy costs. Not only will the cost stay stable, it will also be next to nothing. Although they may be more expensive up front, there is no doubt you will see a return on your investment in years to come with the savings on energy costs.
Another benefit of owning one of these homes is its environmental advantage. Purchasing a net-zero home ensures that you are doing your personal part in fighting back against climate change. You can rest assured that you are minimizing your carbon footprint and eliminating your house’s input of greenhouse gases. By relying on renewable resources, such as solar power, you can work to protect and conserve the earth’s natural resources for generations to come.
On top of all of this, net-zero homes are also built with quality and innovation in mind. Everything from the windows, to the walls, to the appliances, are all built to last, more so than any other average newly built home.
Who is building these net-zero homes?
Just this year, The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) introduced a new program as a way to recognize and label net-zero homes, with the hope that it will promote and popularize the concept. As of right now the CHBA has elected 11 qualified net-zero builders within Canada that can be found here.
What are the costs behind a net-zero home?
With real estate costs in Canada already at such a high, many are probably wondering what it will cost you for a net-zero home. A few years ago during the rise of this trend, it was normal to see a net-zero home in Canada cost around $100,000 more than a similar sized home built to code. Today, the price difference has become less significant, with usually only a $40,000 to $60,000 price difference.
With this shift toward a more eco-friendly environment, net-zero homes look to be the answer. If we look toward the south, our sunny neighbours in California are requiring that all newly built homes after 2020 must have a net-zero rating. Although this movement is only being adopted by a singular state as of right now, it is still quite significant as it can be used to prove that net-zero living is indeed the future.