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The Eco-Solar Tour

Our Edmonton Sponsors!


Gold Sponsors
The City sponsors the Eco-Solar Tour as part of their Change for Climate.
Change for Climate

Epcor
Epcor


Silver Sponsors
A De Waal home is a home for life.
De Waal Developments

Butterwick Group
Butterwick Group

 

Landmark Homes.
Landmark Homes

Always there, anywhere
ATCO

Habitat-Studio built the first net zero homes in Edmonton and has been part of the Eco-Solar tour for 16 years.
Habitat Studio


Bronze Sponsors
Rosecrest has been building energy efficient homes in Edmonton for over 30 years.
Rosecrest Homes

Skyfire has installed some of the largest and most complex photovoltaic systems in Western Canada.
Skyfire Energy

Your Power, Our Future.
Effect Homes

Your Power, Our Future.
Solar Society of Alberta

Thanks to UCE for meeting and storage space.
Unitarian Church of Edm

Definitions

Here are some definitions that may help you understand how we refer to energy efficient homes and buildings. Some of these definitions may still be open for debate however to be clear these are the definitions in use on the Eco-Solar Tour. These are definitions of common practice and do not take into account all practices and situations.

NZE: NET-ZERO ENERGY Home

A net-zero energy (NZE) home is one that is designed and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.

A solar-electric-system generates electric energy for the house and over the year the kilowatt-hours of electric energy exported to the grid equals the kilowatt-hours of electric energy imported from the grid. A NZE house is always connected to the electric grid. In the winter more electricity is imported than exported and in the summer more is exported than imported -- the net result over the year should be roughly zero kilowatt hours.

Since the roof size available is limited a NZE house must naturally reduce its energy consumption dramatically so that the size of the solar-electric system is practical. This always starts with exceptional insulation (in the range of R40 or higher), triple-glazed windows, and significant attention to all aspects of the building envelope.

A NZE house also must have a method of collecting heat in the winter. Heat gain methods can include large windows for passive solar space heating, solar thermal collectors for domestic hot water, or other solar thermal air-heating technologies. A NZE house always starts as an ultra-efficient house so that the size of the solar-electric system can be fit onto the available roof space.

NZE houses still pay for electricity utilities. Electric service and the delivery of electric energy will still be present even though the net kilowatt-hours over the year are zero. A NZE house will not typically use natural gas because of the large fees for connecting to the gas grid. Some NZE houses choose to include a wood stove for comfort and additional energy security however a wood stove is "input energy" that is not included in the NZE calculations. A house that uses external energy from wood, natural gas, or propane is only a NZE house if the solar-electric system exports to the electric grid an amount of energy equal to this external energy source.

In the new Energuide rating system an NZE house would have a rating of 0 GJ/year.

CHP: COMBINED HEAT AND POWER

A combined heat and power unit is a gas-fired generator that creates heat while it generates electricity. By harvesting electricity from the generation of heat the unit can be made more efficient. Most CHP units are used for heating with the electricity as a byproduct. When there is a demand for heat the CHP unit starts and during its operation will supply its rated electricity as well as heat. An mCHP unit is a micro CHP and is a smaller version.

OGH: OFF-GRID HOME

An Off-Grid Home is one that generates all of it's electricity on site. It is not connected to the electrical grid; it is electrically independent. An OGH will use some other form of energy to create its own electricity. Typically this will include a generator of some kind such as a Combined Heat and Power unit (a small natural gas generator; see CHP) as well as solar and some form of energy storage.

EE: ENERGY EFFICIENT Home

An Energy Efficient (EE) House is one that may feature any number of energy efficient features that will be highlighted on our tour. Energy efficient houses usually have a well insulated building envelope and typically have highly efficient windows. An EE house will usually rely on an external source of energy for heat such as gas, oil, wood, or propane.

SC: STANDARD CONSTRUCTION Home

A Standard Construction (SC) House is one that was built to the local standards of construction in the era in which it was constructed. We feature standard construction homes on our tour when the homeowner has done some interesting upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of their home or has added and interesting technology such as a solar system.

We may list a home as SC if an Energuide rating is not available or if we can't determine if the house will fit into any of our other categories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Calgary Sponsors!


Gold Sponsors
4Elements
4Elements


Bronze Sponsors
Skyfire has installed some of the largest and most complex photovoltaic systems in Western Canada.
Skyfire Energy

Che Power Structures
Che Power Structures

Your Power, Our Future.
Solar Society of Alberta