A Tyne Valley company is building energy-efficient mini-homes for Islanders at what it says is an affordable price.

Matt Darrach, owner of P.E.I. Low Energy Homes, said they've kept costs low — and cut out the middle man — by building homes on P.E.I. directly for Islanders.

"Our houses are being sold at about the same price as our competitors," Darrach said. 

"But because we're selling direct to the customer, so there's no mark up and there's no travel from one province to another."

6 homes completed so far

From the day you move in, mortgage payments are about the same as if you bought a mini-home from anywhere else, Darrach said, but your maintenance and heating costs are significantly less.

Submitted by Matt Darrach

Matt Darrach, owner of P.E.I. Low Energy Homes, worked on a prototype last fall before going into commercial construction this spring. (Submitted by Matt Darrach)

They do this by putting in two exterior walls, fully insulating the home and limiting the air coming in and out of the house.

"It's got twice as much insulation plus the entire wall is equally insulated," Darrach said.

"We've raised the heel on the roof truss to get twice as much insulation in the attic as well. We've built them about six-times more air tight and use heat recovery ventilators to control all of the air in and out of the house."

For him and his three-person crew it takes roughly 22 days to build a home from scratch.

They've completed six so far and plan to have eight finished by the end of the year.

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,088-square-foot home will run between $95,000-$98,000 taxes in and home owners, he said, will start saving money on heating right away.

With files from Laura Chapin