Buildings in Canada account for a significant amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and net zero energy building technology has been identified as part of the solution. This study presents a conceptual model identifying barriers to the adoption of net zero energy housing and tests it by administering a survey to 271 participants in a net zero energy housing demonstration project in Toronto, Canada. Using multivariate correlation and multi-linear regression analyses this study finds that of all the innovation adoption variables it was the construction and design quality that was the most significant contributor to the adoption of a net zero energy home by a potential home owner. This study found that the (a) extra cost compared to a conventional home, b) lack of knowledge about the technology associated with a net zero energy home or (c) not knowing someone who owned a net zero energy home were not significant barriers to accepting net zero energy homes. Our results suggest that policy-makers should promote the diffusion of net zero energy home technology by encouraging housing developers to include net zero energy homes in their collection of model homes, with an emphasis on quality design and construction. Furthermore, engaging in trust building initiatives such as education and knowledge about the technology, its related energy cost savings, and the environmental benefits would contribute to a greater acceptance of net zero energy homes.
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