Energy efficient homes have many benefits such as using less energy so it costs less to operate and producing fewer greenhouse gasses which is good for the environment.
Micro Combined Heat & Power
Micro Combined Heat & Power (mCHP) is an energy efficient technology that uses natural gas to generate both heat and electricity for homes. mCHP captures the excess thermal energy that would normally be lost during power generation and instead uses it to heat the home or water. This creates greater efficiencies, lowers utility costs and reduces a home's greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past two years, we've installed mCHPs across Alberta. Many of the install projects combine mCHP with solar systems. By combining these technologies, we can learn more about what the emissions reduction potential is when we maximize renewable energy and supplement it with high-efficiency low-emissions gas technology when traditional renewables are unavailable, such as during long periods of overcast weather and in the winter.
Low Carbon Discovery Home with SAIT & Brookfield
We partnered with SAIT and Brookfield Residential Properties to demonstrate how natural gas-powered micro combined heat and power can lead to lower emissions and more affordable net-zero energy housing.
CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technology
To learn more about how we can reduce CO2 emissions we partnered with CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies, a Calgary-based company, to test their commercial carbon capture device known as CARBiNX.
The CARBiNX system connects to the flue gas vent of a natural gas appliance and extracts CO2 through a chemical reaction, while preheating incoming city water for domestic hot water use. The by-product of the process is soda ash, which can be used to manufacture several products including soap, skincare products and cleansers.
We installed a CARBiNX system at our Calgary Operations Centre in December 2017. The outcome was reduced energy demands through heat recovery and the production of soda ash, while reducing total emissions from our operations centre.
Drake Landing Solar Community
The Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) is a carefully designed 52-house subdivision in the Town of Okotoks, AB that successfully uses solar thermal energy for its space and water heating needs.
The district heating system, consisting of 798 solar collectors mounted on garage roofs, collects and stores energy underground during warmer months for later distribution in the winter. The energy is routed through a central energy centre where it can be transferred from short-term storage tanks to the homes, or sent to seasonal borehole thermal energy storage in the adjacent park.
It's estimated that each home produces approximately 5 tonnes fewer GHG emissions per year than an average home, and each home is 30 per cent more efficient than conventional residential buildings in a similar age range.