May 6, 2020
Climate change and sustainability are issues which concern all of us. More than 16% of all energy used in Canada is used to run our homes. If you are thinking about buying bare land and building your dream home you may want to consider building a Net Zero Home.
It is a home that produces as much clean energy as it uses and is up to 80% more energy efficient than a typical home.
This type of home produces as much energy as it uses; therefore, your utility bills will be low and will stay low all year round. It also protects you, the homeowner, from future increases in energy prices.
Higher building standards, better insulation and high efficiency windows help to keep the internal temperature of the house constant. They are also equipped with ventilation systems which improves the indoor air quality by reducing allergens and outdoor air pollution making for healthier living. The improved insulation also makes the house quieter, so outside noise is greatly reduced.
These homes produce their own clean renewable energy and are equipped with water and energy saving fixtures and appliances. All of this works together to significantly minimize your household’s environmental footprint.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) also offers a refund of up to 25% on CMHC mortgage loan insurance premiums when you buy or build and energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations.
Net-Zero Homes are more expensive up front per square foot then typical homes, but this is offset by lower utility bills and over time you will make back your initial investment.
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit research group which focuses on clean energy, it takes on average between 7.8 to 12.5 years to cover the initial costs of a 2,200 square foot home.
As costs of construction vary greatly from region to region, it is hard to make an exact estimate, but it may only be a few dollars difference per square foot in your area.
Consumers, builders and policy makers are often reluctant to encourage net-zero-building as they believe it isn’t affordable. But with conventional energy prices increasing and renewable energy decreasing in price, so is the cost of construction. So no matter where you live, eventually this home will pay for itself.
Bear in mind, not all builders or contractor know how to build this type of home, so do your research or ask your realtor if they know anyone in your area who does this type of construction.