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Videos and
Definitions

 

The Eco-Solar Home Tour

Videos and Definitions

In 2021 we held a virtual Eco-Solar Tour that was recorded on video. There were 31 homes from 3 cities that were presented over 5 days. The result was 21 hours of video that is all here for you to view. You can watch the full day videos or you can follow the links to the videos of the individual homes. If you are looking for our definitions they are further down this page.

Each home is featured for 40 minutes and starts with a presentation on the home followed by an interview with the homeowner. For each home there is a pdf detail sheet that lists the features of the home. Follow the links below to the detail sheets and to watch the videos of the homes that interest you.

Full Day Videos
Edmonton Day One: 8 homes from Saturday June 5th 2021; 5 hours and 40 minutes
Edmonton Day Two: 8 homes from Sunday June 6th 2021; 5 hours and 40 minutes
Calgary Day One: 5 homes from Saturday June 12th 2021; 3 hours and 40 minutes
Calgary Day Two: 5 homes from Sunday June 13th 2021; 3 hours and 40 minutes
Lethbridge Day One: 5 homes from Saturday June 19th 2021; 3 hours and 40 minutes

The next section shows links to the individual home videos by topics: Net-Zero Energy Homes, Special Interest Homes, Retrofit Homes, Solar Homes, and Homes with Electric Vehicles.

Net-Zero Energy (NZE) Homes
Edmonton
Drayton Valley Straw Bale NZE Retrofit;
Detail Sheet; Video
Langdale NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Woodhaven NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Bellgravia NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Blatchford NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Prince Charles NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Fraser Vista NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Cromdale NZE Retrofit; Detail Sheet; Video
Creekwood NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Beaumont NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Calgary
Balmoral NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Ramsay NZE Garage Suite; Detail Sheet; Video
Lethbridge
Coalhurst NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Crossings NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Riverstone NZE Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Lethbridge County NZE home; Detail Sheet; Video

Special Interest Homes
Nojack Straw Bale Off-Grid Home;
Detail Sheet; Video
Ritchie Sea-Can Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Beaumont Urban Farm; Detail Sheet; Video
Montgomery Passive House; Detail Sheet; Video
Richmond NZR Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Crossings NZR Home; Detail Sheet; Video

Retrofit Homes
Drayton Valley Straw Bale NZE Retrofit;
Detail Sheet; Video
Cromdale NZE Retrofit; Detail Sheet; Video
Sundance Deep Energy Retrofit; Detail Sheet; Video
Inglewood Retrofit; Detail Sheet; Video

Solar Homes
Nojack Straw Bale Off-Grid Home;
Detail Sheet; Video
Keswick Solar Home; Detail Sheet; Video
Beaumont Urban Farm; Detail Sheet; Video
Airdrie Solar; Detail Sheet; Video
Huntington Hills Solar; Detail Sheet; Video
Montgomery NNZ; Detail Sheet; Video
Montgomery Passive House; Detail Sheet; Video
Southland Solar; Detail Sheet; Video

Homes with Electric Vehicles
Killarney Electric Vehicles;
Detail Sheet; Video
Airdrie Solar; Detail Sheet; Video
Southland Solar and EV; Detail Sheet; Video

Featured Videos

Sundance Retrofit Sundance Retrofit
Detail Sheet; Video

Beaumont Farm Beaumont Urban Farm
Detail Sheet; Video

Woodhaven NZE Woodhaven NZE
Detail Sheet; Video

Inglewood Retrofit Inglewood Retrofit
Detail Sheet; Video

Nojack Off Grid Nojack Off Grid
Detail Sheet; Video

Featured Videos

Straw Bale NZE Straw Bale NZE
Retrofit
Detail Sheet; Video

Montgomery Passive House Montgomery Passive
House
Detail Sheet; Video

Ritchie Sea Can Ritchie Sea Can
Detail Sheet; Video

Lethbridge County NZE Lethbridge County
NZE Home
Detail Sheet; Video

Killarney Electric Vehicles Killarney EVs
Detail Sheet; Video


Definitions

Here are some definitions (NZE, NNZ, CHP, OGH, EE, SC) 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 often has 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 be an all-electric home with an electric source of heat. 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.

NNZ: NEAR-NET-ZERO-ENERGY Home

A Near-Net-Zero-Energy (NNZ) House is a very efficient home but does not quite get to NZE. An NNZ home might generate some of its own solar electricity but for any of many reasons it does not achieve NZE. NNZ houses may not have a solar-electric system installed, not have enough roof space for a full-sized solar-electric system; they may be in a shaded area; or they may have other impediments to generating a net-zero amount of electricity.

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, has added an interesting technology such as a solar system, or is demonstrating an interesting sustainable practice.

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.