What is a Net Zero Service Organization?

If you’re purchasing a Net Zero Home, whether it’s a model from a builder you love or you’re building a custom home, your main point of contact is likely going to be your builder. If you’re renovating your home to Net Zero, your renovator is your main point of contact, though if you’re still living in the home for parts of the renovation you may end up meeting many of the professionals involved in your home’s transformation. But behind the scenes there’s a whole team of people, including a Service Organization, ensuring that your new home meets all of the requirements to be officially qualified as Net Zero (or Net Zero Ready if you’re not installing a renewable energy system like solar panels just yet).

Building or renovating a Qualified Net Zero or Net Zero Ready Home involves a lot of moving parts and people. The project needs to be carefully planned and rigorously evaluated by experts to ensure the homes meet its Net Zero requirements. For example, you’ll need an experienced builder or renovator to handle construction, and an expert Energy Advisor (EA) to help ensure the home is as energy efficient as possible and to determine the optimal placement of solar panels, even if you may not be installing them right away.

But who determines if the project is on track? Who gives a home the stamp of Net Zero approval?

In this post, we’re covering the role of a Service Organization (SO) in qualifying homes under the CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program.

Three women from a Service Organization analyzing the blueprints of a Net Zero Home

What does a Service Organization do?

Qualified Net Zero Service Organizations (SOs) are third-party organizations qualified by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) to deliver the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program (the program that validates a home is qualified Net Zero or Net Zero Ready).

The primary role of SOs is to perform quality assurance on the work of builders, renovators, and EAs to verify that all program and technical requirements are met, in turn providing an official Net Zero or Net Zero Ready label for your home.

SOs also deliver CHBA’s Net Zero Training courses – like Net Zero Builder Training, Net Zero Energy Advisor Training, Net Zero Renovator Training, and Net Zero Sales Training – to the industry across Canada, qualifying those who have met the program requirements. In summary, if you’ve ever heard the term “Qualified Net Zero Builder” or “Qualified Net Zero Energy Advisor,” an SO confirmed that company or individual met the program requirements.

How Service Organizations are Qualified

So how does CHBA determine if an SO is qualified to deliver CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program? In short, a whole lot of vetting. To become a Qualified Net Zero Service Organization, an organization must be a CHBA member in good standing, be licensed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to deliver the EnerGuide Rating System and ENERGY STAR® for New Homes or R-2000, and employ/contract at least one CHBA Qualified Net Zero Energy Advisor (EA). If the SO decides to offer one of CHBA’s Net Zero Training courses, it must also hire a Qualified Net Zero Trainer to deliver the course.

Find a Qualified Net Zero Service Organization

Are you a CHBA member who’s interested in getting involved in the Net Zero Home Labelling Program? CHBA maintains an online directory of Qualified Net Zero Service Organization across Canada. Contact one of CHBA’s 12 Qualified Net Zero Service Organizations in your region to learn more.

More information on Net Zero Homes

If you’re interested in Net Zero Homes and looking for more information, check out netzerohome.com. You may also want to read about the differences between Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes and see who the Net Zero Home Award finalists were for the 2021 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.