Near-Net-Zero Residential Retrofit Pilot Program

Would you participate in a pilot to dramatically reduce home energy consumption in your neighbourhood and our city?

Did you know that it is possible to move an average single-family home to near net-zero energy with some simple, targeted retrofits?

And YOU could you be an early adopter!

Help Ottawa lead the way to net-zero

CoEnergy and EnviroCentre are partnering to launch Ottawa’s first net-zero neighbourhood retrofit pilot, demonstrating the best of what can be done to reduce energy consumption and cut emissions, starting with your home.

We’re looking for folks with an interest in dramatically reducing their home consumption to get this project off the ground.

What do you have to do?

For now, an expression of interest is all we need. We’ll ask you to complete this form with some standard information about your home, and we’ll let you know if you’re a good candidate for the pilot project. Anyone can participate, but some homes will get a better bang for their buck through investing in retrofits. We’ll let you know where you fall on the scale, and you decide!

If you join the project, you’ll be expected to complete an NRCan energy audit and allow a net-zero plan to be modelled for your home, complete with recommendations.

You will not be required to complete the recommended changes to your home, but you will be provided with a clear cost and outcome case and allowed to select the measures you are ready to complete.

What you’ll get

  • Project participants who complete the recommended measures to approach net-zero will dramatically reduce their household GHG emissions and their overall energy consumption while keeping costs steady or saving on energy and equipment.
  • You could see energy consumption drop as much as 50-85%, and emissions from your home by 85% or more.
  • You will be accompanied throughout the project by local experts and trusted organizations who will support you to achieve the best outcomes possible.
  • You’ll have access to cost-saving bulk-buys on key equipment, and low-cost financing through CoEnergy Coop where applicable.

Who should sign up?

You! If …

You own your home
You want to dramatically reduce GHGs in a non-invasive, cost-effective way
You want to demonstrate the path to net-zero housing for the rest of Ottawa

Click here and help us take action on climate, right here, right now!


What is net zero?

A net-zero home generates as much energy as it uses, so the net amount of energy it purchases from the local hydro company is zero. It’s an idea that’s gaining popularity as people become more interested in having a home that is more comfortable and resilient, and also reduces costs to their pocketbooks as homeowners.

Every part of the house works together to provide consistent temperatures throughout, prevent drafts, and filter indoor air to reduce dust and allergens. The result: exceptional energy performance and the ultimate in comfort – a home at the forefront of sustainability. It all adds up to a better living experience.

Can an existing home be retrofitted to net zero?

The net-zero concept isn’t limited to new builds. While it takes some planning and changes to conventional renovation approaches, it can be done. Following the same principles for net-zero new homes, renovations include improving existing insulation levels to exceed code standards, orienting windows to work with the sun, redesigning HVAC systems to be as efficient as possible, and installing the energy-generating technology that would work best for the building and its location.

What do we mean by Near-Net-Zero?

Sometimes it is too expensive or impractical for a homeowner to bring an existing home all the way net-zero, but relatively simple to drastically reduce energy consumption and ensure the bulk of energy consumed is low-carbon (usually electric). From a climate perspective, if a home’s energy consumption can be reduced by, say, 80%, and its carbon emissions by 90%, this is a huge win. The home is not strictly speaking net-zero, but it has become low-carbon and energy efficient, using methods that are simple and accessible to the owner. 

To retrofit the bulk of our homes to low-carbon over the next decade and meet our climate targets, we need an approach that is simple, accessible and capable of dramatically reducing home emissions. Near-net-zero checks all the boxes. Hence the pilot. 

Where can I learn more?

Check out these handy resources:

Science at Work – Net Zero Homes

CMHC – Net Zero Housing

EnviroCentre – What is Net Zero

EnviroCentre – Net Zero Considerations

EnviroCentre – Why Net Zero?

EnviroCentre – Net Zero Background

Are there any real-life case studies I can learn from?


Near Net Zero Case Study – EnviroCentre

Net Zero Energy Coalition – Case Studies

Are there other neighbourhood pilot projects I can look at?

These examples will give you sense of some of things folks have tried to reduce home energy consumption on the neighborhood scale.

US Department of Energy – National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot

Now House Mass Retrofits

International Energy Agency – Deep Energy Retrofits – Case Studies

Who are EnviroCentre and CoEnergy?

EnviroCentre is an environmental non-profit organization located in Ottawa.  Our mission is to bring environmental change to life. We do this by pointing people toward practical steps they can take to reduce their environmental impact in lasting ways. Our work focuses on Green Homes, Green Transportation, Green Business, and Green Lifestyle.

CoEnergy is a funding cooperative that was created to expand the adoption of sustainable energy technologies in Eastern Ontario and West Québec, and to enable individuals to participate in the financing and ownership of projects in these regions. The co-op offers its members the opportunity to collectively identify, improve, own and manage commercial and residential property assets that reduce greenhouse gases and/or provide other environmental, economic or social benefits to the region.

Want to become a neighbourhood champion and get this project off the ground in your community?

Contact us!

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