In North America it will soon be illegal to build a new home that uses more energy than it generates. A year ago five of the largest new home builders in Canada participated in a net-zero project with help from insulation company Owens Corning and the federal government, through the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC). The builders were located across the country from east to west, and each built 4 or 5 detached houses (and some town homes) to net-zero energy.
This was a repeat of a pilot a decade earlier, but in the latest attempt the homes only cost about 5% or 10% more, especially when they were “solar ready” rather than panel equipped. Buyers snapped them up and the big builders now have a new marketing approach.