Green Homes Save Money
New national president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Bard Golightly, is increasingly concerned about the affordability of owning a home and its impact on homeownership prospects for younger Canadians. Golightly also serves as past chair for Built Green Canada, another national organization, working with builders interested in responsible sustainability practices in the residential building sector.
By day, Golightly works for the Christenson Group of Companies, a BUILT GREEN® builder, who recently announced the redevelopment of Southwoods. Construction is underway and will include innovative geothermal and a gas-fired power company generation system for its five buildings, with approximately 264 suites—all BUILT GREEN® certified. Occupancy for first building is expected for spring 2015.
Built Green Canada offers programs for single family and high density, with a renovations and a communities program under development. These programs contribute positively to affordability—beyond offering a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact and choices on which “green” features a homeowner wants, BUILT GREEN® certified homes are also affordable:
- Homeowners enjoy costs savings in monthly operating costs with water, electricity, and gas bills. A home built in the Built Green Canada program should save a minimum of approximately 10% in annual utility bills compared to a code-built home. Cumulatively, the savings can be substantial. Better efficiency means long-term savings.
- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial mortgage insurance rebates are available for BUILT GREEN® homes.
- BUILT GREEN® certified homes offer the benefit of longer-term durability through the efficient use of building materials and processes. This means a longer life for the home with lower maintenance costs. Durability options can range from engineered lumber that resists warping to extremely durable exterior features such as 30-year shingles.
- Consumers who purchase a BUILT GREEN® certified home will benefit from an increase in market and resale value. Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s recent research has shown homes with green certification sell for close to 10% more on average than homes without green certification.Further, there are many jurisdictions in Canada where an energy assessment is necessary before a home is sold—saving the homeowner approximately $300 - $500 depending on location.
Consumers are acknowledging the importance of environmental conservation for now and for future generations, yet moving from recognition to action isn’t always easy. Support for sustainability may initially come from an altruistic motivation; however, as research continues, the benefits of a sustainable home are emerging and homeowners’ are learning more about the pragmatic benefits of a green home.