A deep energy retrofit seeks to improve the energy efficiency of an existing house through energy renovations and low-carbon upgrades. Deep retrofitting can focus on different areas of energy load - including energy efficient appliances, efficient heating and cooling, as well as improving the building envelope (insulation, windows and doors).
Renovations and retrofit upgrades can be taken a step further to make houses net zero. A net-zero home generates as much energy as it uses, so the net amount of energy it purchases from the local hydro company is zero. Find out more about net zero homes and their benefits by clicking here.
When completing renovations and retrofit upgrades, it is beneficial to consider the environmental impacts of the project. Sourcing local materials reduces transportation requirements and therefore lowers the projects embedded energy.
For a full list of upgrades check out the projects on Better Homes TO's website. If needed, make sure you hire a licensed contractor to help you with your renovation - you can learn more at the London Home Builders Association's website.
Here is an example of a deep energy retrofit to an existing home that was completed in Guelph in 2017. This retrofit focused on improving building insulation, promoting passive solar design and improving air tightness to reduce the home’s heating and cooling loads. Due to the design of the house and location of the windows, this house no longer requires an air conditioner to keep cool in the summer!