A Net Zero Energy Year - Questions

mcnzh (Small)

We began our Net Zero Energy Year on October 18, 2010.

I have gotten some strange looks from people after telling them that we won’t be using our wood-burning stove this year. Here are the the questions that we are trying to answer:

  1. Will the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) produce as much energy as it consumes between October 18, 2010 and October 17, 2011?
  2. If so, was   the year between October 18, 2010 and October 17, 2011 (in retrospect)an average year for warmth and sunshine? If not, would the MCNZH be Net Zero in a non-average year (sunnier/less sunny and/or warmer/colder)?
  3. How accurate were our computer simulations (HOT2000)?
  4. Can a true Net Zero Energy Home be built in Edmonton?
  5. How does our passive solar design behave in different situations?

Burning wood would make the data that we collect less reliable, because the amount of energy that any given armful of wood contains is an estimate. So we’ll abstain from our stove for a year.

Also, help is on the way for tracking energy use. I’ve just ordered a TED 5004-C so that our energy consumption and production can be easily collected and published to the web. More on that later, as well as more on how the Solar Energy Society of Alberta is helping our little monitoring project out.

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Check out http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/ for a cheaper alternative to the TED.

I'll be following your experiment with great interest! Thanks for sharing the journey.

Did you get an EnerGuide rating for this new house?

We did. The house only got 91.

That's due to two factors: Firstly, certification companies are still wrapping their heads around quantifying energy production. It's brand new, and the company that we were dealing with was doing it (it seemed) for the first time.

Secondly, 60% of our PV modules weren't yet installed at the time of certification. I'm guessing that the house is somewhere in the high 90s.

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