Page 1

graphic by Charles Simon


Foreword In the fall of 2007, Eden Mills, Ontario announced that it would be the first village in North America to “go carbon neutral.” This means that, over time, Eden Mills aims to emit no more carbon than it sequesters or absorbs naturally. Eden Mills is a community of 350 people only an hour away from the mega-city of Toronto. At the formal launch of Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral, the Community Hall was filled to overflowing. More than 50 percent of residents participated in a survey to determine the village’s carbon footprint in 2008, the baseline from which progress can be measured annually. Already more than 2000 trees have been planted, and people are assessing what they can do at home. “Going carbon neutral” is not a simple or short-term undertaking. Eden Mills’ strategies are threepronged: -- Reduce, Replace and Absorb. Key to this comprehensive approach is education. This handbook, Empowering Your Home, is an essential element in the process. Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral has enjoyed remarkable support from every quarter. One of the serendipitous surprises was this Handbook. In the fall of 2007, responding to media coverage of the project, Peterborough Green-Up and authors Rheanna Leckie and Michael Conboy contacted the village offering the rights to publish Empowering Your Home. This was a great gift and we thank them for compiling such a comprehensive and straightforward overview of the choices we can make in creating energy efficient homes. Richard Lay of Kitchener’s Enermodal Engineering Ltd. generously volunteered his services, and Enermodal further donated the time of Christiane Aussant, to make the final technical review and provide footnote sources which enhance the content for the reader who is interested in researching further. With its publication on our website (only a limited number of energy-and resource-wasting hard copies will be printed) Eden Mills is happy to share the Handbook with all interested citizens of the planet. Here’s to “Going Carbon Neutral!”

Eden Mills, November, 2008

7 graphic by Linda Hendry


Contents Introduction


Energy and Electricity


Tips for Home Energy Efficiency


Wind Energy Earth Energy

8 9

Solar Energy


System Components


Instantaneous Tankless Water Heaters


Radiant In-floor Heating


Insulation and Building Materials Passive Solar Design


Getting Started


Putting it All Together


Managing Costs




Government Incentives


With support provided by the Community Go Green Fund




Buckminster Fuller once described the Earth as a spaceship – a finite place with finite resources, alone in the

emptiness of space. Spaceship Earth is our only home and we must be good stewards of the resources it provides us if we are to continue living here. These resources are the things we take for granted all around us – air, water, sunlight – as well as our dwindling fossil fuels, forests or fish.

These days we have a choice about the way we live our lives: whether to be part

of the problem or the solution. Reducing our dependence on finite resources can be as simple as conserving energy, but that’s not where it ends. We can make use of the abundant energy sources around us, such as wind and sun, and decrease or even eliminate the amount of fossil fuels we burn. We’ve all heard of the problems associated with the combustion of fossil fuels – climate change, smog, acid rain – and the use of renewable energy can bring us a little bit closer to solving those problems.

Conserving energy and using renewable energy is a

great choice for you as well as for the earth. It can mean savings in your pocket from a lower energy bill every month, or even no energy bill! While you may have to put some more money into it up front, your investment will be paid back over time, along with the peace of mind of knowing that you’re helping out. If everyone does their part, together we can learn to live sustainably on Spaceship Earth, and to take care of our home – the only one we have.


Energy and Electricity We hear a lot these days about “energy”. What does that really mean? Well, energy comes in many forms that we know well: heat, light, sound and motion are just a few. Electricity is another type of energy, and it’s the one we think of when we talk about producing energy and energy efficiency. The energy from the sun, of course, is in the form of both heat and light energy. When electricity is produced, it is usually first in the form of heat energy, which is transformed into kinetic energy (motion) with turbines and then into electrical energy for us to use. However, a lot of energy is usually lost along the way. Cars, for example, only get about 15 percent1 of the energy produced from combustion of gasoline. The rest is lost, mostly as heat and sound. Because there are always losses in any conversion of energy from one form or another, it is most efficient to use any energy meant for heating (such as space and water heating) directly, instead of converting it to electricity first. The

electricity in our homes is in the form of AC (alternating current) power, at 110 volts. When it is produced, however, it is in the form of DC (direct current) power, and must be converted before it can be used for most appliances. Some appliances designed for RVs and similar applications can use DC power. For use in most homes, an inverter at the power source is used to convert DC to AC power.

The average North American home uses about 890 kWh

of electricity a month. Essentially, this figure comes from the number of kilowatts used at a given time multiplied by the number of hours it’s used for. So, using about 3.5 kW (3,500 Watts) for about 8 hours a day would mean that you used 28 kWh that day and you would use 870 kWh in a month. The electricity use in homes varies widely, however, since some homes use electricity for space and water heating and for cooking while others use gas or oil for some or all of these applications. If you measure the total amount of energy used in the average home, including electricity and other types of energy, about 57 percent is used for heating and cooling; 19 percent for water heating; and 24 percent for appliances and lighting.3 2

Many appliances have what is called a “phantom power” draw. This means that they are using energy even when they’re not on. Electronics usually have a phantom power draw since they must be ready to be activated, and other things which “charge” or are at standby, like electric toothbrushes and razors, also use energy all the time. Connecting these devices to a power bar which can be switched off to turn all appliances off will prevent this waste of electricity. 5

Tips For Home Energy Efficiency The easiest way to save money and be more environmentally friendly is to use less energy. Here are a few suggestions as to how: Lower the temperature on your water heater Your water heater expends a lot of energy to maintain water at a consistent temperature. By lowering this a few degrees, you’ll reduce the energy needed to heat the water at all times. Do not lower the temperature below 54oC as bacteria can grow below this point. Installing a smaller water heater will also reduce energy needs since a smaller volume of water needs less energy to be kept hot. Change lightbulbs Install compact fluorescent lightbulbs (energy saver lightbulbs) in all fixtures. These can use about 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs and will last much longer. Note that most cannot be used with dimmers. Use Energy Star appliances Investing in a more efficient appliance for your home may cost more at first, but will save you money over time on your energy bill. Energy Star qualified products are also available for home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and lighting. Improve insulation Insulation can make a big difference in the amount of heating and cooling your house requires. The better your insulation, the more your house will keep heat in or out. Insulation is also important for fixtures which transport heat, such as water heaters and pipes. Older water heaters especially will benefit from being wrapped with an inexpensive insulation kit. Pipe insulation is particularly helpful if pipes carrying hot water travel through cold basements, so that less heat is lost along the way. Windows and doors Windows and doors can be a source of drafts and are often a significant cause of heat loss in the home. Making sure that your windows and doors are sealed well is important. Other easy improvements include adding heavy curtains which can be opened to allow light during the day and closed to prevent drafts at night or when no light is entering. Draft “dodgers” can help protect against drafts below doors.

6 6

Adjust your thermostat Almost half of your energy costs probably go toward heating and cooling your home. Keeping the thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and higher in summer can make a big difference. You can also adjust the temperature at night or when you’re away. A programmable thermostat will make this easier to do: it can be set to turn temperatures down while you’re gone, and back up before you return home or get up in the morning. Don’t forget to dress appropriately for the season: if you feel cold in winter, put on a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat. Be sun-smart The sun is the source of all energy on earth! It can make a big difference to your lighting and heating or cooling needs. In winter, open shades and blinds during the day to allow sunlight in, and close them at night. During the summer, keep your blinds and windows closed during the hottest part of the day. Open windows at night to allow the cooler air in. Wash in cold water More than 80 percent4 of the energy used by washing machines is for heating the water. Cold water will also help prolong the life of your clothes, since hot water shrinks and fades clothing. Save even more energy by hanging clothes to dry on a clothesline or drying rack. Turn it off! Don’t leave lights, electronics or appliances on if you don’t need them. Electronics in “standby” mode still use power, so consider plugging them into a power bar that can be switched off. Many appliances also generate heat, so during the summer, turn off the TV and spend more time outside! Use landscape to your advantage If you can, plant deciduous trees on the sunny side of your house. In summer, they will provide shade, while in winter they will lose their leaves and allow light in. Leafy vines will have a similar effect. Plant coniferous trees on the north side of your house to block wind. Remember, if you’re retrofitting your home, dispose of old insulation, windows, etc. in a responsible way. Don’t forget that many building materials can be recycled or re-used.


Renewable Energy Sources Wind Power Wind energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that is ever-increasing in popularity. Wind turbines take the kinetic energy from wind and convert it into electrical energy that is useable in homes. There are three classes of wind turbines that can be employed: large, industrial or commercial use wind turbines, which produce more power but take up more space; a mid-sized wind turbine, about the height of a house, which can produce between 10 and 100 kW of power, have rotors 3 – 15m in diameter, and can weigh anywhere between 50 kg and 1000 kg; and small wind turbines which can be placed on houses or other structures and produce about 400W – 1 kW of power. All energy on earth comes from

Did you know?


amount of energy produced by a wind turbine depends upon the wind speed and the density of the air. Wind speed is the main factor which determines the energy output, so wind turbines located in windy areas will produce more energy. This often means areas near bodies of water or on hills. Wind speed increases with higher elevation, which is why most turbines are placed on towers.


the sun - even fossil fuels. The sun produces weather patterns which make wind, heats the ground to provide geothermal energy and of course provides solar power. It also allows plants to grow, which decay themselves or are eaten by animals which decay over time and become the fossil fuels we use today!

turbines are more expensive and take up more space. They are best suited to homes in the country where there is more space to build them and more wind. In general, wind turbine costs range between $1500/kW to $3000/kW.5

Overall, the cost of wind energy

is estimated to be about 5-10 cents per kWh.6 Under its Standard Offer program, the Ontario government will pay 11 cents per kWh of wind power produced for the grid!7

8 8

Earth Energy Earth energy is an energy source which uses heat stored in the ground. At a depth of

about 5-8 feet below the ground, there is a constant year-round temperature of 10oC.8 Earth energy systems use this heat energy to help heat and cool your home. A geothermal unit is placed in the basement of a residence with pipes leading underground and circling back to your house. Water is pumped through these pipes and absorbs heat from the ground, then returns it to your house where the geothermal unit transfers it from water to air and cycles it through your house using normal air ducts. Alternatively, the heated water can be pumped through pipes in the floors of your house for even, comfortable warmth. This is called radiant in-floor heating (see page 13). In summer, the geothermal process works in reverse to provide a cooling effect in the home, since the ground is then cooler than the air. If used for cooling, forced air systems must be used. Earth energy systems can also be used to heat water, so they can be your heater, air conditioner and water heater, all in one!

The use of an earth energy system can cut

about 65 percent9 off your heating and cooling bill depending on the system you currently use. It requires very little maintenance – all you’ll need to do is clean the electrostatic filter (which filters air for better indoor air quality) about Diagram courtesy of Havencraft once a month. Plus, geothermal units are quiet and safe. Systems have a lifetime of about 20 years, so once you’ve installed a system, it will keep providing you with savings for a long time. Best of all, using an earth energy system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds compared to fossil fuel based systems.10

An earth energy system costs between $230 to $290 per kW. However, if it is being

retrofitted to a home, the cost may be higher due to the excavation and more difficult installation.11 The amount of time it takes for it to pay for itself depends on your system and current energy costs, but varies between about 3 to 5 years.12 The long lifetime of these systems means that they will pay for themselves at least two times and as much as ten times over! There are also rebates available for the installation of earth energy systems (see page 20).



Solar Energy

Think of how warm your car gets when you park it in the sun for a few hours, even in the winter. That’s the power of solar energy. Solar energy has a variety of applications for the home. Besides passive solar space heating, its main uses are active space heating, water heating and electricity generation with photovoltaic cells. These are usually installed on south-facing surfaces, which receive the most constant radiation.

Solar Water Heating Solar water heaters come in a few different types. In general, the principle is simple:

collectors use a dark surface to absorb radiation, which heats a glycol solution (which will not freeze in cold weather) under the surface of the collector. This goes either through a heat exchanger or into your hot water tank, through coiled tubes, to transfer its heat to the water. If further water heating is needed, a backup system, such as electric, can heat the water the rest of the way. Most solar hot water systems have a solar “pre-heat� tank connected to a conventional water heater. A solar water heater can reduce annual energy costs by Above: This system of solar collectors provides both domestic 13 water heating and space heating with an in-floor radiant 40 to 50 percent.

Some solar collectors have glass


Photo courtesy of Havencraft

covers and use antifreeze solutions Right: A solar air heater and can be used year-round, while installed on a others are meant for summer use home. Photo courtesy (such as solar pool heaters).

A solar hot water system usually costs between $800 to $1400 per person, installed.14

of EnviroEnergy Technologies Inc.

10 10

Solar Space Heating Solar space heating can be achieved two ways: active solar heating and passive solar

heating. Passive solar heating involves building design and placement of appropriate building components.15 Active solar heating involves direct air or water heating.

For direct air heating, dark metal cladding, usually unglazed corrugated aluminum, is

mounted over a south-facing wall. Sunlight hitting the cladding warms the air near its surface, which is then drawn through thousands of small perforations in the cladding into a narrow space between the wall and the building. The heated air rises to an overhanging canopy plenum, where it is drawn into the facility by fans and dampers.16 Solar walls can reduce heating costs by between $2 to $8 per square foot of collector area.17

Solar water heating for space heating works in the same way as domestic water heating, but passes hot water through radiators or through a radiant in-floor system.

Photovoltaic Cells Photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, are made of a material that generates an electric current when it is hit by light. An array of solar panels can be installed on a rooftop or as a separate unit to provide some of a home’s electricity needs. The cost of a system will vary greatly depending on its size, particularly since the size varies a great deal as well. Solar panels can be anything from book-sized 2.5W panels to large 120W or greater panels. The price of an installed PV system is approximately $10 per watt of output.18 In Canada, a combination of solar and wind power is useful, since it’s difficult to provide for all your energy needs with A non-roof-mounted panel. only one source. To put a photovoltaic system in your home, it is important to have a load assessment to find out how much electricity you will need.

Photovoltaics are now available in thin-film forms, so that they are not as bulky, and can

even come in the form of solar shingles which link together to turn your entire roof into a solar array! Regular solar panels can be installed individually or in arrays, on a roof or on a separate stand.

11 11

System components In order to make a complete electrical system, a few accessories are needed. The electricity produced by solar or wind power is not quite ready to be used by your household appliances. Charge controllers Charge controllers control the amount of charge which reaches your battery, ensuring that it does not get over-charged. These are often built into wind turbines or photovoltaic systems. Charge controllers on their own cost between $50 and $10019 depending on the capacity. Batteries If you are not selling energy back to the grid (see p.17), batteries are essential to store energy that is produced when you’re not using it and to have energy available when none is being produced. In general, a number of batteries are joined to form a battery bank. This can store enough electricity for a few days so that you will still have power even if none is being produced. Batteries cost between $75 and $800 each.20 The number of batteries you will need depends on the amount of electricity you produce and use. Inverters When power is produced by photovoltaics or wind turbines, it is in the form of DC power. This must be converted to AC power for residential applications, and that’s the job of the inverter. Inverters vary in size and can cost between $1.50/W to $2.00/W. 21

Instantaneous Tankless Water Heating

A tankless water heater provides water only as it is used, so that a large store of water isn’t

being kept hot all the time. This saves you energy and money. These units are available in gas or electric forms, although gas water heaters must still maintain a pilot light at all times. They can also produce hot water constantly, so that you’ll never run out or wait for water to heat up again. However, the amount of hot water produced by a single unit at any given time is limited, so that it cannot be used for simultaneous large hot water outputs. An additional unit is required for each hot water output. The size and type of water heater you’ll need depends on how hot you want your water and how much hot water you use.

12 12

Radiant in-floor heating Radiant in-floor heating is achieved by the insertion of electric or water (hydronic) heating systems into the floors of your home. Hydronic radiant in-floor heating involves laying down pipes under or in your floor. Warm water is then pumped through the pipes, heating the floor and the room. Unlike forced-air heating, this method does not stir up dust or other allergens into the air; as well, forced-air heating pressurizes the house, causing more warm air to be lost through any cracks and openings. In-floor heating produces an even radiative heat which is not pushed out of the house. Because warm air rises, traditional heating pumps heat laterally into the room, or blow heat upwards, which quickly rises to the ceiling, leaving floors cold. An in-floor heating system allows the warmth to rise from the floor, heating the entire room. Generally, tubes are placed in the sub-floor and covered in lightweight cement. Then, any sort of floor can be laid over it (carpet, ceramic tiles, wood, etc.). In-floor

systems use cross-linked polyethylene tubing (a type of plastic), which is inert and will last as long as your house does. These systems can be integrated with many boiler types, and can circulate either water or glycol through your floor. Because of their versatility, they are great to combine with a solar collector to heat the water or glycol.

Above: Tubes are laid under the floor of a home.

Photo courtesy of Havencraft.

Since you are warming surfaces rather than trying to heat large volumes of air, the thermostat can usually be set a few degrees lower than with a conventional system and can feel just as comfortable, saving energy and money. An in-floor system coupled with a conventional boiler can save 15-20 percent22 on your heating bills, or even more with solar energy. The cost of in-floor heating is usually around $600 to $800 per 100 square feet.23 While it is obviously easier to install while the floor of a new home is being built, it can be put under floors of existing housing as well.

13 13

Insulation and Building Materials A large part of the energy efficiency of your home comes from your choice of building materials, insulation and doors and windows.


materials: Materials which trap pockets of air such as mineral wool or fibreglass batts, foam boards and straw help to regulate heat gain and loss by providing insulation. Straw bale building is becoming increasingly popular as it is made from a renewable resource rather than a material that has to be extracted from quarries. Wood is also a problem because of the slow regrowth rate of forests and poor forestry practices used, resulting in deforestation. Straw is also affordable and straw bale homes are straightforward to construct, so that homeowners can be involved in the building process. Another type of building which is becoming more common is earth-sheltered homes, which involve building your home partially in the ground or surrounded by earth. As previously described on page 9, the heat stored in the ground can significantly reduce heat losses and so help to keep the house warm.

Insulation: If you’re interested in making changes to an existing home, you can’t very well change your building materials. However, you can increase the amount of insulation you already have. This includes not only the insulation in your walls, but insulation of pipes and water heaters and better sealing of windows and doors.

Above: Construction of the Robins’ Nest Retreat in Norwood, ON Below: A finished straw-bale house Photo courtesy of Havencraft

Windows: A great deal of heat can be lost through

older style windows: an average home can lose about 30 percent of its heat or air conditioning through its windows.24 High efficiency modern windows use two panes with a non-heat-conductive gas, usually argon, between them, and are usually better sealed than older windows. Even if you have newer windows, changing to high-efficiency windows will save on your heating bills.

14 14

Passive Solar Design If you’re buying or building a new home, or making changes to your existing home,

passive solar design is worth considering. This type of home design makes maximum use of the sun for warmth and light, reducing the amount of energy you need to produce those things. - A few key elements make up passive solar design:

South-facing windows: In Canada, we can achieve the best possible exposure to the sun with south-facing windows, which receive the most light for the longest period of time during the day. Opening blinds on these windows during the day will allow heat and light in, warming your house. In the summer, blinds can be closed to prevent more heat from entering. Keeping solid, insulated walls on the north side of the house means that it is better protected against cold northern winds. Landscaping: Planting vines or deciduous trees which cover or shade windows is like

having natural blinds! These produce leaves in the summer to shade your home and keep it cool, and lose their foliage in winter so that light can pass through. Evergreen trees can also act as wind breakers to shelter your home when planted on the north side.

Roof overhangs: During the winter, the sun is lower in the sky than it is in the summer. This means that if you have a roof overhang, it will block most of the sun in the summer but allow it to enter from a lower angle in the winter.

High thermal mass: Something with high thermal mass is a dense material which can absorb and store a lot of heat, like concrete, adobe or brick. These materials can be used in walls and floors so that they absorb heat during the day and gradually release it at night, maintaining a constant steady temperature in your home. Summer Sun Winter Sun

South-facing high-efficiency windows

Wind-breaking trees


High thermal mass

15 15

Getting Started The first thing to keep in mind is that conserving energy is cheaper than producing it! Start

by making changes around your home to improve your energy efficiency. Have a home retrofit inspection under the federal government’s new ecoEnergy program before making any changes and you could be eligible for a grant of up to $5000 to improve your home.

If you’re interested in installing a renewable energy system, contact an expert to discuss the best choice for your home based on location, product and resources. They will help you to determine your energy needs and choose a system that’s right for you.

If you’re building a new home, talk to a knowledgeable architect, builder or renewable

energy retailer first to determine what requirements your house will have before you choose a design. Incorporating passive solar design, geothermal units, in-floor heating and better windows and insulation during the construction of your house could save you a lot of money and time in the future.

Putting it All Together No single type of renewable energy system can provide for all of your needs all of the time. The best way to think of your design is as an integrated whole. Here’s an example of how it could be put together in a new home:

Solar space heating or water heating with in-floor radiant heat Solar water heating with a back-up electric instantaneous tankless water heater A photovoltaic roof array for some of your electricity needs, and A small wind turbine to generate further electricity A charge controller, battery bank and inverter to connect electricity produced to the outlets in your home, or a connection to the grid if available

Or, if you’re making changes to an existing home, some easy upgrades would be: Solar domestic hot water heating connected to your conventional water heater Solar space heating via a solar wall Geothermal heating and cooling with your current forced air or radiator system A small turbine or photovoltaic array for some of your electricity needs

16 16

A home can incorporate just a little or a lot of renewable energy. It can be completely offgrid, or rely on the grid for electricity and have independent heating and cooling; or it can produce power which is fed back to the grid to reduce or eliminate electricity bills.

However, there is a myriad of different ways to put systems together and the effectiveness

of each system will depend on your property and location. Experts can help you sort through it all and decide what’s right for you!

Remember that regardless of what strategy you decide on, energy conservation is very important. Every dollar that you put toward improving energy efficiency will save you several times that amount in energy production. Investing in upgrades now will save you money later – and help to save the earth as well.

Managing Costs

While renewable energy may seem expensive at first glance compared to conventional

energy, it is important to remember that any energy you produce is free or low cost once your system is installed. This can make a big difference to your monthly costs, and your system will soon pay for itself. Most renewable energy systems last 20 years or longer, so they will keep providing you with free or low cost energy for a long time.

To make initial costs easier, financing options are available from

many renewable energy retailers and installers. Don’t forget to take advantage of government incentives as well. If you’re interested in a large system, you can also put it together in smaller pieces. For example, with solar electricity, you can install the basic electrical system to start, and add more solar panels over time. Or, for space heating with solar walls, you could keep your conventional heating system and add one solar wall at a time until you reach the number needed to heat your entire home.

Above: A house with a partial solar system

Some systems are obviously more cost-efficient than others. If you are simply looking for an upgrade to provide for some of your needs, space or water heating systems will be more cost-effective than electrically generated ones. However, if you are interested in electrical systems you may also be able to sell energy back to the grid for much more than the current cost of electricity from a utility. Finally, remember that the more energy-efficient you are, the less energy you will need to

produce and the cheaper the system you buy will be.

17 17

Resources References 1. United States Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, (2007). Advanced Technologies and Energy Efficiency [online]. 2. Energy Information Administration, (2002). U.S. Average Monthly Bill by Sector [online]. http://www.eia. html 3. A Residential End-Use Energy Consumption Model for Canada, Proceedings of eSIM 2001, Fung, A.S., Aydinalp, M., Ugursal, V.I., Farahbakhsh, H., (2001). 4. ibid 5. Rocky Mountain Institute, (2007). Household Energy Efficiency [online]. 6. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2006). Wind Energy [online]. appl/index.asp?CaId=6&PgId=232 7. Ontario Ministry of Energy, (2006). Expanding Opportunities for Renewable Energy in Ontario [online]. cfm? 8. GeoExchangeBC, (2004). Ground-Source Heat Pump Project Analysis [online]. 9. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2006). About Earth Energy and Geothermal Energy [online]. 10. ibid 11. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2006). Ground Source Heat Pump Market Development Strategy [online]. asp?CaId=151&PgId=771 12. Econar Energy Systems, (2005). Frequently Asked Questions About Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems [online]. 13. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2003). Solar Water Heating Systems: A Buyers Guide [online]. 14. BC Sustainable Energy Association (2005). Solar Water Heating [online]. asp 15. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2006). Solar Energy [online]. appl/index.asp?CaID=5&PgID=303


16. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2007). Solar Air Heating [online]. prod_serv/index.asp?CaId=137&PgId=742 17. Canadian Renewable Energy Network, (2007). Heating your Building with Solar Energy – Efficient, Simple and Cost Effective [online]. prod_serv/index.asp?CaId=137&PgId=742 18. Ontario Power Authority, (2007). Solar PV Projects [online]. ID=122&ContentID=4040&SiteNodeID=252 19. Power Stream, (2006). Solar Battery Chargers and PV System Controllers [online]. 20. Canadian Solar Industries Association, (n.d). Batteries in a Solar Electric System [online]. 21. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, (2006). A Review of PV Inverter Technology Cost and Performance Projections [online]. pdfs/38771.pdf 22. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (2007). Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating [online]. http:// cfm 23. PowerHouse, (n.d). Saving Energy: Heating and Air-Conditioning, Buying New Equipment – Radiant Floor Heating [online]. stellent2/groups/public/documents/pub/phtv_se_he_ bu_000598.hcsp 24. BC Hydro, (2006). ENERGY STAR® Qualified Windows and Doors [online]. pdf

Alternative Energy Associations The Canadian Wind Energy Association The Alternative Energy Store Solar Energy Society of Canada Inc.

Books The Renewable Energy Handbook: A guide to rural energy independence, off-grid and sustainable living. William H. Kemp, 2005 Smart Power: An urban guide to renewable energy and efficiency. William H. Kemp, 2005 The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence from Wind, Solar, Biomass and Hydropower. Dan Chiras, 2006 Handbook of Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. D. Yogi Goswami, 2007 Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options. Greg Pahl, 2003 The Citizen Powered Energy Handbook: Greg Pahl, Chelsea Green Publishing Ecoholic: Your guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products and services in Canada. Adria Vasil, Random House Canada, The Carbon Busters Home Energy Handbook - Slowing climate change and saving money. Godo Stoyke, New Society Publishers Green Guide David Suzuki & D. Boyd, Graystone Books Plan C- Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change. Pat Murphy, New Society Publishers The Green Book: The everyday guide to saving the planet one day at a time. E. Rogers and T. Kostige Consumer Guide to Home Energy Saving http://www This list is by no means comprehensive. Please watch our website for new listings.

Energy Efficiency, Building and Retrofitting Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition strawbales.shtml Ontario Ministry of Energy

Natural Resources Canada ecoENERGY Retrofit Program retrofit-homes/retrofit-qualify-grant.cfm Government of Canada Clean Energy Portal Association of Municipalities of Ontario The Solar Energy Society of Canada Inc. Canadian Wind Association (CanWEA) Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA)

Government resources: Government of Ontario Visit this site and look for “retrofit_consolidated_list” to keep up to date on grant programs. Government of Canada Visit this site to see a list of practical free booklets including “Keeping the Heat In” 1-800-387-2000 (toll free)


Government incentives

The federal government and government of Ontario have many opportunities available

to support individuals and businesses that are incorporating clean and renewable energies into their homes. This is an important step in promoting interest in new energies. Many find the most difficult step in incorporating renewable energies or upgrades to homes is the cost. Offering incentives can make the initial investment much more feasible. It is also important to calculate projected cost recovery when changing to more efficient and renewable energy sources.

A complete listing of all retrofitting grants from both Federal and Ontario Provincial governments is available at

In order for a home owner to qualify for these grants, an energy advisor must complete

an energy audit of your house before you make any changes, and afterwards, to certify the changes. The whole process must take place over a maximum 18 month period.

To book an appointment with an NRCan-licensed energy advisor, visit the federal

website at and follow the links to ecoENERGY Retrofit or call 1-800O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) TTY: 1-800-926-9105

Produced by the Eden Mills Millpond Conservation Association Inc. For more information on the Going Carbon Neutral project, please contact By Rheanna Leckie and Michael Conboy assisted by Charles Simon, Linda Sword and John Cripton Special thanks to Peterborough Green-Up for suggestions and assistance, and to Havencraft Natural Homes, Enviro-Energy Technologies Inc. and The Robins’ Nest Retreat for images used.


Empowering Your Home  
Empowering Your Home  

“Going carbon neutral” is not a simple or short-term undertaking. Eden Mills’ strategies are three pronged: -- Reduce, Replace and Absorb. K...