|Location:||Fort St.John, British Columbia|
|Building Type:||Single Family Residential|
|Year of Construction:||2015|
|Gross Floor Area (m2):||152|
|Treated Floor Area (m2):||176.5|
As the Energetic City, Fort St. John recognizes that an excellent source of energy is conservation. As an experiment on what can be accomplished in energy conservation – even in the north – the City embarked on a project to prove that homes here can be built to a high level of energy efficiency.
At the time of completion of the house it was only the third certified single family passive house built in Canada. Over the past several years, the City of Fort St. John has made it a priority to conserve water and energy, and ultimately reduce both costs and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from its corporate operations and at the community level. The City has also adopted a community wide GHG reduction target of 12% below 2007 levels by 2030 and continues to maintain a carbon neutral status in its corporate operations.
The City has worked to become an environmental leader in the Peace River region through the use of pervasive sustainable and environmental best practices. The approach is to prioritize conservation as one of the easiest and best sources of energy. If a rural, northern community with an extraction-based economy can show this type of environmental leadership, there is hardly an excuse for others not to follow in their footsteps.
The construction of the Fort St. John house and garage, at a cost of $276 per square foot, compares favourably with other average homes in Fort St. John. The average home cost in 2014 was between $250 and $350 per square foot depending on the finishing details chosen.
Costs were kept lower by choosing economical interior finishing options and there is some cost savings in not needing to buy a furnace. The monthly savings for utilities makes a passive home comparatively inexpensive.
33% of the passive house energy costs are offset by solar energy production.
The hot water tank is the greatest energy user in the house. 301 KWh of electricity in an average month.
- In summer months more energy was produced than was used resulting in a credit on the Hydro bill.
The most energy used is in the winter months. 1100 – 1200 KWh of electricity in an average cold month.
- In one year the house used 9020 KWh of electricity. At BC Hydro 2016 rates $747.76 worth of electricity was used in one year (not including any fees and taxes). Subtract the energy generated from the solar panels and the average cost per month on the house for electricity was $41.12. There is no gas.
Project sponsored by: City of Fort St.John
Photo credit: Velvet Leaf Photography