Tag Archives: net-zero homes


Tapping Free Renewable Energy Is A Game Changer

EcoPlusEcoPlusHome technology uses free renewable energy to run your home.

Join us on August 21st from 1-4pm for the Martell EcoCommunity Launch.

Improve the way you build or buy your next home.

Using advanced alternative energy solutions by Bosch, Martell Home Builders – in partnership with EcoPlusHome and Maple Leaf Homes – are building two EcoPlusHomes in Sterling Meadows (off the Old Shediac Road) each with pre-construction EnerGuide ratings of 93 out of 100.

If you’ve been reading about the Martell EcoPlusHome project on our Blueprint Blog then you already know that the pre-construction EnerGuide 93 rating is thirteen points over what’s previously been considered an industry leading rating for a newly constructed home.

Here is just a glimpse of the technology that makes it all possible.

Solar Panels for Power, Hot Water

The technology to generate electricity and heat your water draws its power from the sun using two types of solar panels developed by Bosch, the world leader in renewable technology. The first is a photovoltaic panel that generates electricity and the second is a thermal solar panel that heats hot water for baths, dishes and laundry.

The results have quieted the naysayers who question Atlantic Canada’s ability to produce enough energy from the sun. Most of Canada receives at least seven megajoules of sunlight each day – which is enough to supply an average household’s power requirement of about 2,000 watt hours from one 200-watt photovoltaic panel!

The solar panels are also surprisingly attractive and can withstand hurricane force winds and snow loads up to 35 pounds per square foot.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

EcoPlusHomes also use geothermal heat pump systems – the most energy and cost efficient systems on the market with the greenest technology for heating and cooling. When powered by the EcoPlusHome’s photovoltaic panels these systems have no carbon dioxide emissions or any other negative effects on the environment.

The first two EcoPlusHomes at Sterling Meadows are projected to save their owners 75% or more on their energy bills for electricity, heating, cooling and hot water than if the houses had only been built to code with lower energy efficiency (e.g. EnerGuide rating of just 69).

The vertical ground loop system uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth (thermal energy) to provide heating, air conditioning and hot water.

Ground and water temperatures, six feet below the earth’s surface, stay relatively constant throughout the year. This allows the system to provide extremely efficient heating or cooling all year long in virtually any climate.

With the EcoPlusHome’s pre-construction EnerGuide ratings of 93, owners will likely qualify for Efficiency New Brunswick’s maximum $7,500 rebate incentive. Depending on energy consumption habits, the homeowner can recover their initial investment in as little as 5 years.

Knowing that an investment in an EcoPlusHome will pay for itself while allowing you to saving dramatically on your energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and increase the long-term resale value of your home – which home would you choose to build or buy?

See the technology and crunch the numbers during our EcoPlusHome event at Sterling Meadows on August 21st from 1-4pm .

Improve the way you buy or build your next home.

Note: All EcoPlusHome energy consumption, energy cost savings, and green house gas emission data are calculated using Natural Resources Canada official statistics for an average family of four (2 adults, 2 children). These statistics also assume the EcoPlusHome uses compact fluorescent lighting and EnergyStar rated appliances. EcoPlusHomes are connected to the local municipal electrical grid to ensure a continuous power supply on overcast days.

Save 75% or More on Your Energy Bills with an EcoPlusHome

EcoPlus-Blog2Join us on August 21st from 1-4pm to learn how you can reduce your energy costs and carbon emissions when you buy an EcoPlusHome at Sterling Meadows.

The first two EcoPlusHomes at Sterling Meadows are projected to save their owners 75% or more on their energy bills for electricity, heating, cooling and hot water than if the houses had only been built to code with lower energy efficiency (e.g. EnerGuide rating of just 69). In addition, annual projected green house gas emissions are expected to be at least 80% lower – the equivalent of taking three cars off the road each year.

With energy prices increasing every year and supply in question, these savings are compelling enough to take a closer look.

The buzzword in sustainable home construction is net-zero housing … a house that provides owners with the opportunity to use less energy than it generates. In other words, zero energy consumption from the power grid which translates into huge savings!

While “living off the grid” conjures up images of a modest dwelling beside a lake in the woods, inhabited by granola-eating tree-huggers, a net-zero home is a game changer in the sense that it offers a comfortable and viable living option that is suited for living in suburbia.

The net-zero concept depends on two key elements: the energy efficiency/generating capacity of the home, and the energy consumption patterns of the homeowners. With the potential of an EcoPlusHome, homeowners with the desire to save money and the planet can now be closer than ever to living a net-zero lifestyle within their own four walls depending on how much energy they choose to consume.

It is important to note that EcoPlusHome energy consumption, energy cost savings, and green house gas emission data are calculated using Natural Resources Canada official statistics for an average family of four (two adults, two children). These statistics also assume the EcoPlusHome uses compact fluorescent lighting and EnergyStar rated appliances.

Using advanced alternative energy solutions by Bosch, Martell Home Builders – in partnership with EcoPlusHome and Maple Leaf Homes – are building two EcoPlusHomes at Sterling Meadows (off the Old Shediac Road) with pre-construction EnerGuide ratings of 93 out of 100.

The Martell EcoPlusHome is the premier energy-efficient home on the Moncton market with a payback on a homeowner’s investment being realized in as little as five years depending on the homeowner’s energy consumption habits (and that’s based on today’s power rates).

Knowing that an investment in an EcoPlusHome will pay for itself by allowing you to continue saving on energy costs while increasing the eventual resale value of your home – which home would you choose to build or buy?

We are very excited about this project.  Please plan to come out to see it for yourself on August 21st.

An Introduction to Net-Zero Energy Homes

Net-Zero Energy Home

(Image Source)

Do you know what a net-zero energy home (NZEH) is or what the benefits of building/owning a NZEH are?

NZEH … with emphasis on the “EH”

Eh? So you’ve heard people talk about net-zero energy homes, NZEH for short, but you’re still left scratching your head wondering what the heck these homes are. Sure, you can make some sort of assumption based on its name, but if you’re still wondering what exactly the term means, here’s an explanation from ZeroEnergyHousing.org:

“Zero Energy Housing (ZEH) is a term applied to a house or residential development that produces as much energy from renewable sources at it consumes on an annualized basis. The Zero Energy Housing project focuses on grid-tied developments that both draw energy as required and feed excess energy back into the grid for others to use.”

In other words, net-zero energy homes are built to utilize green technologies which make it possible to harvest energy on location which can then be distributed to others to use.

What are these green technologies?

The technologies that a net-zero energy home incorporates include:

  • Passive solar
  • Solar domestic hot water
  • Solar electricity, also called photovoltaic (PV)
  • GeoExchange technology

For a detailed look at these technologies, check out the Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition website.

The benefits

Although net-zero energy homes have a higher initial cost of building, there are numerous advantages to building/owning a NZEH. According to Wikipedia, these benefits include:

  • isolation for building owners from future energy price increases
  • increased comfort due to more-uniform interior temperatures (this can be demonstrated with comparative isotherm maps)
  • reduced requirement for energy austerity
  • reduced total cost of ownership due to improved energy efficiency
  • reduced total net monthly cost of living
  • improved reliability – photovoltaic systems have 25-year warranties – seldom fail during weather problems – the 1982 photovoltaic systems on the Walt Disney World EPCOT Energy Pavilion are still working fine today, after going through 3 recent hurricanes
  • extra cost is minimized for new construction compared to an afterthought retrofit
  • higher resale value as potential owners demand more ZEBs than available supply
  • the value of a ZEB building relative to similar conventional building should increase every time energy costs increase
  • future legislative restrictions, and carbon emission taxes/penalties may force expensive retrofits to inefficient buildings

Would you pay to save?

What do you think about net-zero energy homes? The Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition’s vision statement says “All new home construction meeting a Net-Zero Energy Home Standard by 2030.” Do you think this will happen or do you think that’s being a little overly optimistic? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

Coming To A Neighborhood Near You … Net-Zero Homes

solar-powered-homes net-zero-homes

Imagine living in a home that produces renewable energy equal to the total amount consumed each year in the form of heat, light and power. Sound impossible?

The Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition doesn’t think so. In fact, its goal is to see all new construction in Canada meeting a net-zero standard by 2030. So far, it has convinced the federal housing agency, through its EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, to get the ball rolling with 12 pilot projects across the country, including Moncton’s VISION Home.

According to the coalition, housing is responsible for 17% of energy use and 16% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. A net-zero home would dramatically change those statistics.

Once the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium demonstration homes are completed, they’ll be open to the public for six months for tours so Canadians can learn about what’s involved in lessening their home’s footprint on the environment.

But why wait for a project to come to a city near you?

Here are the basics of a net-zero home:

• Integrated renewable energy systems, such as solar electricity and thermal heat, ground-source heating and passive solar heating and cooling.
• Grid interconnection to allow the home to deliver excess electricity back to the grid.
• A climate-specific solar design tailored to take advantage of the local climate and natural environment.
• Natural “daylighting” through domes and rainwater collection.
• Low pollutant-emitting construction materials and finishes, continuous fresh air supply to all rooms and exhaust air extraction from kitchens and bathrooms.
• Energy- and resource-efficient construction methods, appliances and lighting.

The benefits? The most obvious is low utility bills. But keeping your family and the environment healthy? Priceless!

What are you doing to keep your home’s environmental footprint small?

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