Image copyright Melbourne Gas Image caption A Toronto judge gave Opus One Solutions the go-ahead to convert 100 homes into Net Zero by 2030
In Toronto, retired electrician Ryan Ton of Opus One Solutions got inspiration to tackle urban flooding by digging a giant pond underground.
The founder of an energy firm that installs solar panels on homes across Canada says his latest endeavor – a system that turns car batteries into stored electricity – could change energy consumption forever.
“What if you could power your home from an external source while it’s being used?” he asks.
The system relies on a marine hull battery that Mr Ton patented and combined with geothermal heating and cooling from the ground, the professor believes the technology could help homeowners live in an all-electric world.
He believes it would end the need for fossil fuels and make it cheaper for people to get by – much as the company’s previous venture has.
So is it the next big thing in the world of energy?
Net Zero is a goal for every home that limits how much energy a house can use.
Image copyright The Vancouver Aquarium Image caption The Powerhouse model uses solar, wind and ocean energy
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The Seattle-based company offers five “community” Net Zero homes in Canada. They aim to achieve it by 2020.
Mr Ton’s invention uses solar power, geothermal heating and cooling to convert car batteries into energy. The Tesla Powerwall 2 battery is a $13,000 (£10,000) option on one model.
It looks like a TV guide box and is situated in the basement of the Whitby, Ont. home that Mr Ton has designed to embody the benefits of Net Zero living.
With the improved roof structure the home is up to 14% more energy efficient, making it about 60% more sustainable.
According to Mr Ton’s calculations, installing solar panels means the home has the same emissions as a 600-square-foot rental apartment in the US.
The homes also have a 125-person sea wall which helps provide valuable geothermal energy to compensate for heating and cooling from the ground.
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Is it the next big thing in energy?