New Study Examines Affordability of Net-Zero Energy Homes

Published on January 03, 2019

A recent study released from the Rocky Mountain Institute has looked into the cost of building Net-Zero Energy and Net-Zero Energy Ready homes across the United States, and how they compare to traditionally constructed homes, finding that the cost difference between the two is only minimal in most locations.


In one location in New England, the study reports that the cost of building a Net-Zero Energy Ready home is equal to that of a traditional home; this is due to the incentives and energy codes that are in the area.


For a home to be Net-Zero Energy home, it must combine high levels of energy efficiency and on-site renewable resources - generating the same amount of energy that the home uses every year.


A Net-Zero Energy Ready home is similar to a Net-Zero Energy home in terms of energy efficiency, although it does not have a source for renewable solar energy on site.


The study also found that some locations across the United States were better equipped to handle the development of Net-Zero Energy and Net-Zero Energy Ready homes.


This is due to variable factors such as: labour and material costs, access to solar energy, local building codes, and the availability of incentives for energy efficiency improvements.


For example, the study outlines the city of Chicago, stating that strong building codes along with local incentives have reduced the incremental cost of building a Net-Zero Energy Ready home from $5,368 to $495 over a traditionally built home.


By taking advantage of third-party-owned solar financing, homeowners are able to upgrade their Net-Zero Energy Ready home into a Net-Zero Energy home without spending any extra money upfront.


In fact, 2017 had 41 percent of all residential solar power owned by third-party companies, meaning that this method is already quite popular and effective.


Improve Home Energy Efficiency Towards Net-Zero Energy Levels

Although Net-Zero Energy and Net-Zero Energy Ready homes are becoming more affordable, you do not need to move or build a new home in order for you to see energy efficiency improvements and energy bill savings. As an Ontario homeowner, the most effective way to save on energy and utility cost is to have a Home Energy Assessment conducted by BSG’s team of Registered Energy Advisors.


Through the assessment, our advisors can present you with a look into how energy efficient your home is, and how it could be most effectively and affordably improved. This means that our advisors will present you will a list of options for improving energy efficiency that are specific to your home, and ordered in terms of which options will provide you with the greatest energy efficiency improvements per dollar spent.


By improving the energy efficiency of your home, you may notice that your home not only saves money on utility cost, but that it also becomes more comfortable to live in, has better air quality, and it may even have a higher market value due to its lower operational costs.


Additionally, a Home Energy Assessment can also help your home qualify for up to $5,000 of home renovation rebates that are currently offered to both Union Gas and Enbridge customers.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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