When it comes to building energy efficient homes, there’s a perception that they cost more to build. But two Kelowna builders have debunked that myth.

Motivated by passion for the environment, Chris Freer and his partner Jon Jenion of Mountain Woodworks took a risk on the construction of an energy efficient spec home and it paid off. “We knew that in this market we had to be a little bit different, and we proved that you don’t have to break your budget to build a healthy, comfortable, energy efficient home,” says Freer.

Looking at the house as a system along with careful planning was key to Freer’s success. Instead of a traditional foundation with stick framing, he used structural insulated panels (SIP) on top of an insulated concrete foundation (ICF). “Using this method the house went up three times faster and that saved on financing interest costs, as well as labour costs down the road,” says Freer.

Using both natural gas and electric high-efficiency heating systems, the house achieved an EnerGuide® rating of 83 and Freer was eligible for $2,000 in incentives through FortisBC’s New Home Program. For Freer, it’s about making an effort to be a bit kinder to the planet in your own neighbourhood.

David Pfuetzner, general manager and co-owner of Acorn Communities has been building energy efficient homes in the Kelowna area since 2002. “All our custom homes are built to achieve minimum energy efficiency ratings of EnerGuide 80, with many of them reaching as high as 85 and even 87,” says Pfuetzner. And with the rebates that FortisBC offers through the New Home Program, Pfuetzner adds that they are able to offer a more efficient home for little to no extra cost to the buyer.

To learn more about FortisBC’s New Home program and EnerGuide 80 visit FortisBC.com/NewHome.

* EnerGuide is the labeling system of Natural Resources Canada that rates the efficiency of products such as appliances, heating and cooling systems and buildings. For new homes a rating of between 80 and 90 is considered excellent in terms of energy efficiency

Originally posted on Okanagan Home. To see article, click here