(Guelph) Imagine having an extra $4-5 thousand dollars in your pocket at the end of the year. Those are the savings that homeowners may receive living in one of Reid’s Heritage Homes’ Net-Zero Energy Homes – houses that produce at least as much energy as they consume.
Reid’s Heritage Homes broke ground today in Guelph on the first of 25 such homes that will be built across Canada – a $4 million project that is being co-funded by the Canadian Government, Owens Corning Canada and five participating builders. The program will effectively double the number of Net-Zero Energy homes in Canada.
“Net-Zero Energy homes are incredibly progressive,” says Corey McBurney, President of EnerQuality, an organization that designs and delivers green building programs to the residential construction industry, “Reid’s Heritage Homes and their partners Owens Corning Canada and Building Knowledge Canada are continuing to raise the bar in energy efficient home design.”
EnerQuality has seen a constant evolution in home design. Although Net-Zero Energy is relatively novel to Canada, building homes that exceed the building code’s energy requirements is not new to the industry.
McBurney points out that the five homes under construction are ENERGY STAR®® qualified homes, a program that has seen wide-spread adoption across the province and set precedence for innovation in the industry. For a home to qualify, it must be at least 20 per cent more energy efficient than those built to minimum provincial building codes.
In 2013 alone, more than 9,500 homes qualified in Ontario, representing 28% of all homes built in the province. Since the program’s inception in 2005, EnerQuality has certified more than 56,000 homes in the province.
In 2012, Natural Resources Canada awarded Reid’s Heritage Homes the New Homes Participant of the Year award at the ENERGY STAR® Market Transformation Awards, recognizing the builder as a trailblazer for ENERGY STAR® qualified homes. Reid’s Heritage homes was one of the first builders in Ontario to build entire communities of ENERGY STAR® certified homes.
“There is a persistent trend towards consumers wanting more efficient homes,” says McBurney, “most Ontarians are familiar with the ENERGY STAR® label on their washing machine, more and more are becoming familiar with the fact that their home can be ENERGY STAR® qualified.”
Reid’s Heritage Homes is one of the five builders selected by Owens Corning Canada and Natural Resources Canada as part of a national initiative to encourage eco-friendly housing design and continuous innovation. The $4-million federal Net-Zero Energy Housing project is funded through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and is part of Canada’s 2011 Economic Action Plan.