Thermal imaging shows heat loss. Source: Green Building Advisor (Left). Sources of carbon emissions in Toronto. Source: City of Toronto (Right)
Why does HVRA have a Net Zero Carbon Project?
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time. And the main drivers for climate change are greenhouse gases—notably carbon dioxide. Our homes and cars are major sources of CO2 emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels including natural gas for home heating, cooling and hot water. We need to act now to minimize the fossil fuels we burn.
The Net Zero Project’s mission is to help Harbord Villagers make more energy-efficient choices for their homes and transportation needs so they can reduce their household carbon emissions:
If you live in an older house that has air ducts for heating, cooling and ventilation, your home would likely benefit from having those ducts sealed. The improvements in home comfort and energy efficiency were significant for this Harbord Villager. Read Tim Grant’s first hand account. Read more
Heat Pump Water Heating
Water heaters use about 18% of the total energy consumed in a home, second only to space heating. Water heaters often run on natural gas, which is a fossil fuel. The Net Zero project has partnered with Home Depot to offer a discount for replacing an existing natural gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater (HPWH). Read more
Exterior retrofitting—or house wrapping—can play a major role in reducing the carbon footprint of your home and achieving net zero carbon emissions. Either on its own, or in combination with the adoption of electric heat pump space and water heating, it is a good way to reduce energy consumption and reliance on natural gas. Read more
Air Source Heat Pump Space Heating
Home heating and cooling may contribute more to household energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than anything else in our homes. Air source heat pumps could significantly reduce both. Since retrofit options, costs and emissions reductions vary from house to house, find out what makes most sense for you. Read more
The HVRA Net Zero committee has launched a promotion of pedal-assist “e-bikes.” E-bikes work like regular bicycles, but the pedal-assist allows riders to travel further with less effort. As such, e-bikes provide an alternative to driving in many different scenarios. Read more
Installing an electric induction stove is another way to reduce your dependence on natural gas, and improve indoor air quality in the process. The Net Zero project has partnered with Best Buy Canada to offer deep discounts on a wide variety of induction ranges and cooktops. Read more
What Financial Assistance Is Available?
Rebates and loan programs are available to help reduce your use of fossil fuels, both at home and for transportation. In many cases, a home energy audit performed by a certified energy advisor is required in order to qualify. The Net Zero project has put together a Rebate and Loan Programs how-to manual to explain the available financial programs and eligibility criteria.
Net Zero Project Activities
The Net Zero project team is actively involved in organizing retrofit promotions, bulk-buy discounts, panel discussions, educational webinars and bike fairs to encourage the adoption of household carbon reduction measures for the residents of Toronto’s Harbord Village—and beyond. See the Net Zero project activities page for more detail.
If you missed December’s excellent Home Retrofit Panel, watch the recording
How to get involved?
Sign up for the Net Zero mailing list
Join the Net Zero committee
Follow our Net Zero Neighbourhoods Facebook Page for the latest news, events and promotions