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CHBA Position on Net Zero

To be clear, CHBA’s position on Net Zero is as follows:

  • Firstly, the expected plan from the Federal Government for codes (and CCBFC and PTPACC - the inter-provincial body that guides policy for the code) is to go to Net Zero Ready (so no renewables) by 2030, not full Net Zero.
  • CHBA’s position is basically that nothing should go into code that reduces affordability. Given the excellent performance of today’s new houses, the focus of government and industry should be on innovating so the next levels of improvement do not cost home buyers more.
  • We are of course leading on innovating towards Net Zero, but on a voluntary basis - to find the best ways of achieving higher levels of performance, give members an advantage, and provide a great product for consumers that want it.
  • We are not “opposed” to a tiered code system that looks ahead to the future levels of performance (and could support voluntary programming to those levels), but we do not support regulating those levels until it can be shown that they are cost effective and are not going to reduce affordability.
  • We have been very clear on this position to not regulate anything that reduces affordability, including net zero, in discussions with the federal government in all our advocacy. This has been expressed in meetings we have had directly with the departments and ministers’ staff, and with the CCBFC.
  • This position also applies with regards to municipal and provincial governments.
  • Note that the biggest danger in this is not a tiered system in the national code but provinces and/or municipalities trying to outdo each other and get there faster. This will be problematic for industry, and a major cost and affordability problem for home buyers.
  • Also, for anyone who wonders why CHBA is working on net zero, the answer is that CHBA has always supported innovation, choice, voluntary higher levels of performance, and the pursuit of new approaches that can help members build better homes that homebuyers can afford.
  • Prior to CHBA taking the lead, others were leading activity on net zero and were pushing for it in the code with complete disregard for the financial interests of home buyers; CHBA took action to do it right, get builders leading, and do it on a voluntary-not-code basis.  CHBA strongly opposes this and any measure being introduced into the code until it makes sense from an affordability standpoint.
  • At the same time, CHBA’s leadership work in Net Zero is showing the way for CHBA members who want to lead, to gain market advantage and establish the technology for the industry for the future.
  • Net Zero and Net Zero Ready are great options for home buyers that can and wish to make the investment.  However, until these or any other levels of energy performance can be shown to not affect affordability, they should not be regulated.


Page updated 2017-DEC-13