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Net Zero

Net zero is a lofty goal; it means that a building can create at least as much energy as it uses.  To achieve net zero a building needs to be very energy efficient. 

To be energy efficient in our Canadian climate, it needs to be well insulated (high R value and low air changes), so that the energy required for heating and cooling is minimized. This allows for smaller HVAC systems and the HVAC systems installed must also be very high efficiency.  The final design requirement is to have the other energy consuming systems in the house such as the appliances, lights, and domestic hot water system be as efficient as possible. 

Once a building is constructed to require as little energy as possible to operate and keep its occupants comfortable, the final step to achieve net zero is to install electrical energy generating systems on the building such as solar panels and wind turbines. 

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Spray foam insulation
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Foundation insulation (ICF foundation)

Vigor designs and constructs buildings that are Zero Energy Ready Homes. 

This means that the energy consuming systems are selected and installed to allow the building to achieve a net zero capability.  The final step to achieve a net zero build is to install electrical generation systems to provide the needed energy, and those are currently very costly and aren’t usually an option for an investment property.  As energy costs rise and the cost of electrical generation systems fall though, it will make economic sense to install those systems in the future.  But an investor can still benefit now from the reduced operating costs of a Zero Energy Ready Home as those reduced operating costs will either allow for higher rents if the tenants pay the utilities or will result in higher net rents if the landlord pays for the utilities.

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