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Guelph, Welland Homes First to Qualify For Net Zero Energy Label

net zero energy home, net zero energy labelling program, energy efficiency
One of the five Net Zero Energy Homes built by Reid's Heritage Homes in Guelph, ON

Ottawa – August 2, 2016 – On July 25, 2016 the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) qualified five Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes built by Reid’s Heritage Homes, and the first Net Zero Energy ready (NZEr) home built by Lucchetta Homes, under the Associations’ Net Zero Energy Labelling Program Pilot. These are the first homes to qualify for this prestigious recognition.

A Net Zero Energy home is one that is designed, modelled and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. An NZEr home meets the same technical specifications as an NZE home, but doesn’t have the renewable energy generation installed yet—this is left for purchase and installation in the future.

“The CHBA would like to congratulate the teams at Reid’s Heritage Homes and Lucchetta Homes for being the first to achieve this milestone under our new program.” says Sonja Winkelmann, Director, Net Zero Energy Housing. “We would also like to thank the CHBA’s NZE Qualified experts that supported the project — the Service Organization EnerQuality and Energy Advisor Andy Oding — for the third party testing and inspections. Together, the builders, their teams, and CHBA have reached a monumental point in Canadian housing.”

“Our national Home Buyer Preference Study confirmed that today’s consumers are looking for energy efficient homes. The industry is ready and eager to deliver these NZE homes, the ultimate in energy efficiency, to Canada’s discerning homebuyers. Our Net Zero Energy Labelling Program identifies the best of the best in home energy efficiency, and provides Third Party confirmation for both the industry and the consumer,” says Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer.

“The CHBA supports continued improvement in the performance of Canada’s housing through voluntary measures like the Net Zero Energy initiative, advancing innovation in our industry and providing excellent options for homebuyers, while at the same time protecting affordability. This Program will help to meet the housing aspirations of Canadians, and renew Canadian leadership in high performance housing,” said Lee.

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Sonja Winkelmann
Director, Net Zero Energy Housing
Canadian Home Builders' Association
P: 613.230.3060 x235
T: @NZEhomes


In September 2015 the CHBA launched a Pilot of the Association’s NZE Labelling Program, continuing CHBA’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program will provide the industry with a clearly defined yet rigorous 2-tiered (NZE and NZE ready) technical standard, and it will distinguish and recognize NZE homes as well as the builders and renovators constructing them. To encourage high levels of industry adoption – including with production builders – the program keeps the administrative process simplified, while maintaining high levels of technical rigour. The Pilot is being used to validate both the streamlined administrative processes as well as the technical details prior to launching “version 1” of the Program on January 1st, 2017.

While most-often quite conventional in appearance, NZE homes incorporate a wide range of technical innovations in three areas:

  1. They are incredibly energy efficient, with high levels of insulation in all exterior surfaces including below grade, high performance windows and right-sized mechanical systems, including fresh air ventilation.  With these energy efficiency improvements, the typical NZE home will require 50% to 70% less energy for its operations than a new home built to current building codes.
  2. For the remaining energy that is required, NZE homes incorporate renewable energy generation, most often solar-generated electricity, to offset this load. In so doing, over the course of the whole year, they generate as much energy as they consume (hence the “net zero” in their name).
  3. Increasingly, NZE homes also incorporate in-home energy storage systems (much like an electric car) that allow them to function more autonomously from the electrical grid (a big advantage when the power goes out!).

In order to meet the NZE technical standard, a wide range of innovative construction practices are used by NZE builders.

Builder and renovator members who want to be part of this exciting initiative must take training as part of the qualification process. NZE training is getting the necessary knowledge out to the industry and accelerating the capacity of builders and renovators to achieve NZE. A network of CHBA NZE Qualified Service Organizations and Energy Advisors has been established to work directly with the builders and renovators to design, model and test the homes, as well as to deliver the training.

To build awareness and understanding of the value of these homes, and to stimulate market demand, marketing and communications initiatives (including brand development), as well as sales and marketing tools for the builders and renovators will be provided. To address the initial cost of NZE homes, the development of innovative and effective financing mechanisms are also being explored, so that a larger portion of the market can buy these homes.


Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders' Association has been "the voice of Canada's residential construction industry"—one of the most vital and enterprising industries in Canada. Representing more than 8,500 member firms across Canada, CHBA members represent every part of Canada's housing industry - home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals and others.