A leader in eco-living right here in Fredericton
There are many things you can do to reduce the environmental impact and cost of living in your home.
Some things are expensive and can be done over a longer period of time, some things are inexpensive and can be done now, and some involve changes in our status quo purchasing habits and perhaps a bit more research than we used to do.
Here are just a few things that make sense over time in terms of water and energy efficiency:
Insulate the basement and ceiling: this may not be top of mind in the middle of summer, but is actually helpful if you are using the air conditioner or heat pump to cool your home, as insulation keeps the heat out as well.
Low flow aerators and shower heads: water doesn’t appear at your sink or bath tub for free, you pay for each and every litre. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators cost a few dollars but can pay for themselves quickly by cutting the amount of water you consume by up to 50 per cent.
There are a couple of other things to keep in mind about water – the city uses energy to move the clean water to your home and uses energy to move and treat dirty water.
Using less water means less energy is consumed from pumping and treating the water, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions are produced as a result.
Energy efficient appliances: it is possible that the 1976 fridge in your garage is consuming more energy than all of your new appliances combined. Take some time to research the lifetime electricity cost of your next oven or refrigerator or stove. An extra $50 up front may save you hundreds of dollars over its lifetime.
Now imagine if you could start over with an energy efficient home from scratch, with no need to piece together these projects over many years. Imagine moving into a home with virtually no energy bill whatsoever. Ever!
Well, thanks to the foresight of a few New Brunswickers, living with virtually no energy bill is now possible right here in Fredericton. Two years ago, Eco Plus Home constructed the most energy efficient home in Atlantic Canada.
It was given an EnerGuide rating of 96 by Efficiency New Brunswick, the highest rating it has given.
The 2,200 square foot home was built by Fredericton-based Maple Leaf Homes, to very high-energy efficiency standards.
Features include R25 insulation in the walls and R50 in the ceiling; photovoltaic (PV) cells for generating electricity; solar thermal panels for heating domestic hot water; and a geothermal heat pump and high efficiency appliances manufactured by Bosch.
The lessons learned from the Eco Plus Home in Bathurst will soon be incorporated into the construction of a number of townhouses on Neill Farm on the north side of Fredericton.
Martin Davis EcoHousing Ltd. (www.martindavisecohousing.com) is committed to making this peak efficiency townhouse development one of the first of its kind in North America.
As energy prices continue to rise, this kind of investment will look smarter and smarter, not just for reducing living costs today, but for future selling price down the road when an increasing number of savvy buyers will be taking energy costs into account when buying their next home.
Congratulations to Martin Davis of EcoHousing for being a leader with this development. The world needs more forward thinking business people like you.
Peter Corbyn is special adviser to the Climate Project Canada and co-founder of GreenNexxus.com.
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