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A net-zero energy (NZE) home produces as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis and has at least one on-site renewable energy system. NZE homes are not necessarily energy autonomous or off-grid because they can be connected to the electricity grid and supply energy back to the grid when the home produces more energy than it needs. In the span of a year the energy supplied to the grid should balance the energy drawn from the grid to achieve net-zero annual energy consumption.

To make your home a NZE home, there are three steps to consider when designing and building your home:

  1. Reduce the home’s energy requirements.
  2. Include renewable energy systems to provide the amount of energy required to operate the home.
  3. Operate the home efficiently.

For more information on the steps toward a NZE home, visit CMHC’s Net-Zero Energy Housing webpage.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.