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CHBA Qualifies First Home with Net Zero Energy Renovation Label

Ottawa – July 30, 2020 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is pleased to announce the first Net Zero Energy home renovation labelled under its recently launched Net Zero Energy Renovation Labelling Program Pilot. The house, renovated by RenoMark member Solar Homes Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, was originally built in 1985 and now has achieved a net zero energy rating.

Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes produce at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis. While there have been almost 400 NZE homes built and labelled in Canada under CHBA’s program since 2016, achieving net zero energy through renovations is a new frontier with many additional challenges.

“Homes built to code today are much more efficient than they were in the past. For that reason, retrofitting older homes is what is necessary to make substantial improvements to residential sector greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in Canada. CHBA’s pilot for our Net Zero Energy Renovation Labelling Program supports continued improvement in the performance of Canada’s existing housing stock, which is where we need to focus to address climate change when it comes to housing—and of course that comes with the many benefits of net zero housing, like lower energy bills and greater comfort for homeowners,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee.

Solar Homes Inc. President Peter Darlington and his team are excited about being the first to achieve this milestone under CHBA’s recently launched pilot program. The renovation focused on retrofitting the exterior of the home, which minimizes disruption to occupants and results in an extremely comfortable home. In addition to decreasing the home’s energy bills – estimated to be around $2500 lower than before – the renovation has resulted in completely netting out the home’s GHGs emissions, which was previously 14 tonnes per year.

The accomplishment is perhaps even more meaningful because Peter is the homeowner. As such, he will be able to monitor the decrease in energy bills and enjoy the improvements to the home’s comfort. The Solar Homes Inc. team has been using this experience to grow their business and is sharing details of the project to help other renovators who are interested in applying their approach.

The first home to receive a Net Zero Renovation Label in Canada.

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Marie Hanchet
Project Manager, Net Zero Energy Housing
Canadian Home Builders' Association
P: 613.230.3060 x263
W: (or
T: @NZEhomes

In 2015 CHBA launched its NZE Labelling Program, continuing the association’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program provides the industry with a clearly defined yet rigorous 2-tiered (NZE and NZE ready) technical standard, and recognizes 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 straightforward while maintaining high levels of technical rigour.

The Net Zero Renovation Pilot is being used to validate the administrative processes and technical details for prior to launching “version 1” of the renovation Program in 2021.

Builder and renovator members who are interested in this exciting initiative must take training as part of the qualification process. Net Zero Renovator training builds on Building Science and Net Zero Builder training to provide strategies on assessing how much work is required to achieve the ultimate in home comfort in an existing home. A network of CHBA NZE Qualified Service Organizations and Energy Advisors has been established to work directly with builders and renovators to design, model and test the homes, as well as to deliver the training.

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 9,000 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.