Deep Retrofits Getting to Zero

What are Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Buildings and Homes?

Net Zero homes can produce their own energy and can supply to the power grid, but also draw from the grid when necessary. Over a year, these balance out to 0, or Net Zero energy. Net Zero (NZ) homes are regular energy grid-tied homes that are so air-tight, well insulated, and energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year.

According to Natural Resources Canada, NZ homes are expected to be 80% more energy efficient than a new building constructed to today’s building code minimum. They use on-site (or near-site) renewable energy systems to produce the energy they need.

Provided by NAIMA

Why Go Net Zero?

Savings

Zero energy homes are just like any home except better.They are regular grid-tied homes that are so air-tight, well insulated, and energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year, leaving the occupants with  lowered energy and heating bills, and a carbon-free home.

Future Proof

The value of Net Zero homes is incredible. Not only are they future-proof and built to stand the test of time, they also are built to higher standards than conventional new homes. A Net Zero Home is more durable – with high performance and better insulated walls, roof, and the envelope as a whole.

Comfort and Health

A zero energy home is not just a “green home” or a home with solar panels. A zero energy home combines advanced design and superior building systems with energy efficiency and on-site solar panels to produce a better home. Zero energy homes are ultra-comfortable, healthy, quiet, sustainable homes that are affordable to live in. 

Thanks to NAIMA for Content

Building Envelope

Make sure the home is built or retrofitted with a high-quality, high R Value insulation and tight building envelope.The building envelope needs to be highly efficient for the rest of the system to work.

Efficient Systems

High-efficiency HVAC (e.g.,Air Source Heat Pumps) systems and  appliances help keep energy use down. Windows can be oriented to take advantage of warmth and light from the sun, known as passive heating.

Renewables

Clean, renewable energy is the path forward for achieving a net zero building and reduces carbon emissions. A Net Zero Ready house has the ability to easily install renewables.

Financial Help and Rebates Available to Get to Zero

We’ve provided a comprehensive list of resources for financing, rebates and incentives.

Canada Greener Homes Loan

Canada Greener Homes Loan (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp) The Canada Greener Homes Loan program offers up to $40,000 in interest free loans for terms up to 10 years. See more details about eligible retrofits and how to apply at the Natural Resource Canada site.

 Steps to Net Zero

Consult with the Energy Coach

Preparing for the Call

To prepare for your first meeting with your Energy Coach the following will help to ready regarding your home profile:

  • Size of your home
  • Utility information
  • Types of heating and cooling
  • Number of people in the house
  • Age of your home
  • Budget or cost concerns
Set Your Goals

What are your priorities for getting to net zero? What is your timeline?

Book Your EnerGuide Audit

Your financing and retrofit recommendations depend on the site visit from your registered EnerGuide Auditor. We have a list of the certified professional auditors here

If you are applying for the 0% interest GreenerHomes Loan, you must book the site visit with the auditor prior to beginning any work in order for the cost to be covered by the Greener Homes Loan.

Contact Your Utility Providers

Your utility provider is essential to the process of retrofits. If solar will be installed, or your electrical service needs upgrading for the new systems like air source heat pumps (ASHP) then the utility can advise you and determine if eletrical infrastructure upgrades are needed and what costs there may be for electrical upgrades.

Contact Contractors

These Energy Advisors (EA) have specific Net Zero training. Visit this page for the list of Ontario EAs. After your energy advisor has provided you with the comprehensive retrofit report, it’s time to start looking for the contractors who can provide the work for your upgrades. We recommend you contact professional organizations who have vetted trades persons and contractors. CCET’s Resource page lists professional organziations and Contractor Resources.

Determine Finance Options

The cost of your home energy retrofits can be a barrier, but there is support for you. Visit CCET’s Financial Help page for a comprehensive list of Federal and Provincial programs, loans, financing and rebates available.

Begin Saving

Your first upgrades and retrofits will immediately reduce your monthly energy costs. Contact the Energy Coach for more information.

Net Zero Ready Begins With a Call

A call with CCET’s Energy Coach will start you on your path to Net Zero

Handy at Home?

Many quick fixes you can do today at little, or no cost. They may provide you with immediate comfort and cost savings.

Check out these DIY Tips!

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We’ve got to get to work!

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from buildings accounts for 13% of Canada’s total emissions making it the third largest source of emissions after oil and gas production and transportation. Canada has committed to 37% emissions reduction by 2030 and to achieve net zero by 2050.

There are 404,000 low-density dwellings in the region of Peel contributing significantly to emissions. The aim is an 80% emissions reduction from those dwellings by 2050, with Brampton and Caledon targeting all homes to be retrofitted by 2040.

Peel Buildings emit 40% of the total GHG emissions and that number continues to increase

Low-rise residential dwellings contribute 20% of Peel's GHG emissions

Electric heat pumps can reduce carbon emissions by 35% for the average home (Ontario Clean Air Alliance)

Replacing a failing gas furnace will see an estimated $10,320 in lifetime total savings (capital plus energy) if a homeowner chooses to fully electrify their home with heat pump systems for space and water heating (Ontario Clean Air Alliance)

Free or Low Cost Income-Qualified Programs

Federal Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program

Eligible Canadian homeowners can receive a payment of up to $10,000 to switch from oil heating to a new energy-efficient heat pump.

Eligibility:

  • Home is heated by oil
  • Household income is at or below the median household after-tax income level

Eligible measures:

  • Necessary electrical and mechanical upgrades to the home for a new heat pump system
  • Installation of outdoor piping loops for ground source heat pump
  • Safe removal of oil tank
  • Installation of backup electrical heating (as required)
  • Switching over other oil-using household systems, such as a water heater (where necessary)

100% Free Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps

Save on Energy—through its Energy Affordability Program—is offering free cold climate air source heat pumps to qualifying Ontario households living in electrically heated homes. The program provides a two-year free maintenance warranty and a 10-year equipment and labour warranty—qualifying households may also be eligible for other free energy efficiency upgrades offered through the Energy Affordability Program, including professionally installed replacement appliances, such as ENERGY STAR® refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners, and lighting; weatherstripping around doors and windows; attic and basement insulation; and smart thermostats and power strips.

Home Winterproofing Program (HWP) | Enbridge Gas

Enbridge’s Home Winterproofing Program and the Energy Affordability Program are streamlined into one application process to offer free home energy upgrades. If your home and household income levels qualify, you’ll be eligible for free insulation, draft proofing, a smart thermostat, Energy Star® appliances and more. CLEAResult is the authorized delivery partner for IESO’s Energy Affordability Program and Enbridge’s Home Winterproofing Program. CCET is a community distribution partner with CLEAResult. Contact us to receive a free Energy Saving Kit.

Hydro One Low Income Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) pays up to $1,000 of the amount owing on your bill (and up to $1,200 if your home is electrically heated).

Save on Energy – Energy Affordability Program

The Energy Affordability Program, a program of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), provides expert advice and energy-saving home upgrades completely free of charge for income-eligible households.

If you are responsible for paying your monthly electricity bill as a homeowner or as a renter, then you may qualify for this program. The type of support provided will depend on your household income level from the previous year and how many people live in your home, or on your receipt of a qualifying government or energy-support benefit. Residents of social housing may also be eligible.

Two Types of Support:

Ontario Electricity Support Program

The OESP is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. The OESP credits are applied directly to eligible customers’ bills.The OESP on-bill credit amount will depend on how many people live in the house and the combined household income after tax

If you are a customer of an electricity utility and in a lower-income home, you may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill. Learn more here.

 

Rebates & Incentives

Hydro One- Ontario Electricity Rebate

The Ontario Electricity Rebate (“OER”) provides eligible customers with a 19.3% reduction on the amount of their bill before HST (O. Reg 363/16), as of November 1, 2023.

The following customers are automatically eligible for the OER and do not need to complete the self-declaration form.You will see "Ontario Electricity Rebate” and an amount that is subtracted from your electricity bill:

  • Residential and Small Commercial customers (billed under a Residential or General Service Energy rate class) using less than 50 kW.
  • Commercial accounts that are greater than 50 kW but use less than 250,000 kWh annually.

Enbridge Fixed Incentive Program

Fixed Incentive Program makes it easy to offset the cost of upgrading to energy-efficient natural gas technology. Working with you at every step, our Energy Solutions Advisor will help you identify opportunities, quantify potential savings and provide incentives to offset the cost of upgrading to high efficiency equipment.

Enbridge Business Programs and Incentives

From energy efficiency upgrades to new construction, Enbridge offers rebates and incentives for equipment upgrades, new construction, retrofits and energy assessments.

Loans & Financing

We're updating financing options frequently, so check back about more opportunities that may arise.

Canada Greener Homes Loan

Canada Greener Homes Loan | CMHC (cmCnaahc-schl.gc.ca) (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. site)The Canada Greener Homes Loan program offers up to $40,000 in interest free loans for terms up to 10 years. See more details about eligible retrofits and how to apply at the Natural Resource Canada site.

Clean Energy Loan – The RBC Energy Saver Loan is available for RBC customers from coast-to-coast when purchasing hybrid cars, ENERGY STAR appliances, renewable energy projects, and more. You can choose between a 1% interest rate reduction or a $100 rebate on a clean energy audit with your loan.

Mortgage Insurance Loan Rebate – If you’re using a mortgage to buy a certified green home (R-2000, ENERGY STAR, Built Green, LEED, etc), then take advantage of the 25% mortgage loan insurance rebate offered by CMHC, Sagen, and Canada Guaranty.

Canada Green Affordable Housing Program – The Canada Green Affordable Housing Program Homeowners meeting the applicable affordability criteria are eligible to receive funding for retrofits, but must first apply for funding and carry out pre-retrofit activities (such as energy audits and energy modeling studies). CMHC will fund up to 100% of eligible retrofit costs to a maximum of $170,000 per unit; forgivable loans will be either $85,000 per unit or 80% of eligible costs

Steps to Consider

  • Show your banker that you’ve done your homework
  • Seek out other loan and grant sources

Save on Energy – Energy Affordability Program

The Energy Affordability Program, a program of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), provides expert advice and energy-saving home upgrades completely free of charge for income-eligible households.

If you are responsible for paying your monthly electricity bill as a homeowner or as a renter, then you may qualify for this program. The type of support provided will depend on your household income level from the previous year and how many people live in your home, or on your receipt of a qualifying government or energy-support benefit. Residents of social housing may also be eligible.

Two Types of Support:

Enbridge Home Winterproofing Program

Enbridge’s Home Winterproofing Program and the Energy Affordability Program (see Save On Energy) are streamlined into one application process to offer FREE home energy upgrades. If your home and household income levels qualify, you’ll be eligible for free insulation, draft proofing, a smart thermostat, Energy Star® appliances and more. CLEAResult is the authorized delivery partner for IESO’s Energy Affordability Program and Enbridge’s Home Winterproofing Program. CCET is a community distribution partner with CLEAResult.

Federal Programs

Currently paused, but if you are an existing applicant and applied before the program was delivered through Enbridge’s Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program (i.e. you applied before January 4, 2023), then you can continue to use the Canada Greener Homes Portal for updates.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Offers up to $40,000 in interest free loans for terms up to 10 years

  • Federal Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program

Eligible Canadian homeowners can receive a payment of up to $10,000 to switch from oil heating to a new energy-efficient heat pump.

Eligibility:

  • Home is heated by oil
  • Household income is at or below the median household after-tax income level

Eligible measures:

  • Necessary electrical and mechanical upgrades to the home for a new heat pump system
  • Installation of outdoor piping loops for ground source heat pump
  • Safe removal of oil tank
  • Installation of backup electrical heating (as required)
  • Switching over other oil-using household systems, such as a water heater (where necessary)

 

 

More DIY Tips

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Water Heater

We all need a warm blanket on cold days. Your water heater is no different, especially if it's an older model and is located in a cold area of the house, or basement. Water heater blankets are inexpensive($30-$40) and the cost saving are worth it.

Curtains

Your curtains can be more than a pretty window covering. If you  have curtains made from a heavy fabric it can cut down on cold, drafty air coming in your windows.

Light Bulbs

Changing a light bulb is no joke! If you switch to LED light bulbs, they last for as much as 100,000 hours, or up to 14 years and the energy savings can be significant. No more light bulb jokes when it can save you a few hundred dollars a year if you switch to all LED lighting.

COLD AIR

  • Cold air comes in the home from unexpected places
  • Electrical outlets on outside walls are small places where cold air enters. An inexpensive foam insulator will stop the drafts.
  • Weather stripping is an easy way to stop cold air from entering and warm air from leaving your house.

AIR FILTERS

  • Replace all furnace filters regularly per manufacturer's recommendation. Your furnace will have to work harder with dirty filters.
  • Hot water radiators need bleeding at least once or twice a year to work efficiently. Here's a handy video to guide you.
  • Oil furnaces need annual maintenance. Natural gas and propane furnaces need servicing every two years.
  • Keep the heat flowing and don't block vents and air grills with objects or furniture