10th step - Autonomy


Food self-sufficiency

Belvedair can guide and recommend edible landscaping and agriculture professionals.

  • Urban agriculture 
  • Making a garden
  • Independent greenhouses vs annexes
  • Lighting for indoor growing (vs energy costs) and lighting types
  • To facilitate the work: irrigation, clay beads...
  • Auqaponics

Energy self-sufficiency: upcoming section...

Independent Home / Net Zero Energy Home

A self-contained house is a house that does not rely on utilities to supply electricity and, generally, water. In other words, it’s not connected to any grid. So the energy consumed is either produced on-site or transported off-grid.

A net-zero home also produces energy on site, but is connected to the public distribution system. It therefore has no batteries to store electricity. When it consumes less energy than it produces, it injects the surplus into the public grid, and when it consumes more than it produces, it fills the deficit with electricity from the public grid. On average, it must produce as much electricity as it consumes to be considered net-zero. We can also consider that we should not consume fuel to be "net zero" or, at least, if we consume it, we will have to produce an equivalent surplus of electricity.

In Quebec, where public electricity is generally much cheaper than energy produced on small installations such as a house, very few autonomous houses are built, let alone net-zero homes. A standalone home is usually built when the cost of connecting to Hydro-Québec exceeds the electricity generation system.

A basic principle for building a financially viable self-sustaining home is that it is generally cheaper to invest to save one kWh than to produce it. When designing self-contained homes, Belvedair therefore devotes a great deal of effort to minimizing the amount of energy consumed before designing the power generation system.