Nova Scotia

Dartmouth home boasts highest EnerGuide rating

A new factory-built bungalow in Dartmouth has been deemed the most energy-efficient home in Nova Scotia, and it could cost a homeowner virtually nothing to run.
A house like this costs about $50,000 more than a regular pre-built bungalow. (Jennifer Henderson/CBC)



A new factory-built bungalow in Dartmouth has been deemed the most energy-efficient home in Nova Scotia, and it could cost a homeowner virtually nothing to run.

The house at 113 Lakecrest Dr. promises energy savings of at least 75 per cent compared to a regular bungalow with electric or oil heat.

It has an EnerGuide efficiency rating of 94 per cent — the highest in the province.

There are two types of solar panels on the roof: thick grey ones to produce solar energy for hot water and slimmer plates to produce electricity.

"This house generates more heat and more electricity than it needs," said Tom Black, spokesman for EcoPlusHome, the company behind the home.

"Over the course of 12 months, you can expect a power bill of very close to zero, if not zero."

EcoPlusHome makes this claim based on the experience of a family of six who spent a year in the company's first home in New Brunswick.

The house consists of two air-tight sections built by Fredericton-based Maple Leaf Homes. Bosch, a German company, supplied the solar panels, along with a geothermal heat pump that keeps the interior cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The bungalow is about $50,000 more than a regular pre-built home.

But EcoPlusHome president Axel Lerche said it pays off in the end for both residents and the environment. He said it's like taking away 500 cars — and all the greenhouse gas emissions they spew — over 25 years.

This "poster home for energy savings," as Energy Minister Charlie Parker called it, qualifies for incentive rebates worth $13,265, which is the maximum amount available for newly built homes.

Patterson Sales says it will apply that amount against the price of the home. It expects to list the house for about $395,000 this fall.

With energy bills continuing to rise, representatives of EcoPlusHome are convinced that they've developed a model homeowners will want to check out.

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