Near-Net-Zero Residential Retrofits

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

YOU could you be an early adopter!  Help Ottawa lead the way to net-zero.

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

Curious to learn more?

Contact us! We’ll be happy to help!

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