Industry to label itself as ‘Net Zero Plus’

Renewable energy industry group adopts new focus for marketing.

An industry sector will market itself as a major contributor to Canada's energy and environmental crisis.


The average household in Canada consumes 30,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy each year, according to government data, with more than 80% used for temperature applications of space heating, water heating and air conditioning.

A NetZeroPlus heat pump produces twice as much renewable energy as the whole house will consume for all end uses, surpassing the definition for ‘net zero energy' and classifying the building as ‘zero emission' if the consumed power is zero-carbon or if GHG emission offsets are purchased.

"The industry has never quantified the renewable energy that we produce from the ground," says Bill Eggertson, Executive Director of the Canadian Chapter of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). "With more than 120,000 systems across Canada, that makes us one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the country."

An average heat pump produces 25,600 kWh of heating and cooling energy, but it requires 7,800 kWh to operate. When combined with the 4,900 kWh of demand for appliances and lighting, the building's total consumption is 12,700 kWh, but it produces 25,600 kWh ... well above the definition of a house which must produce as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis.

The industry has suffered from marketing confusion by using technology terms such as geothermal, earth energy, GeoExchangeTM or ground source heat pump, and IGSHPA Canada decided to promote its energy and environmental contribution, not its technology. The initiative will allow the industry to work with other stakeholders to boost a building's performance beyond NetZeroPlus by increasing efficiency in plug load.

"This marketing focus will engender more co-operation with low-carbon power generators, to complement Canada's climate change plan that was filed last week in Marrakesh," adds Eggertson. "For example, now the solar industry can install PV panels to generate 12,700 kWh a year, rather than 30,500 kWh, which will accelerate the transition to zero-energy buildings while enhancing all the benefits from a NetZeroPlus heat pump."

IGSHPA Canada has developed social media tools to explain how energy is produced and consumed, including a 3-minute video that illustrates the vision of transitioning Canada into a NetZeroPlus nation. The landing site is http://NetZeroPlus.ca

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