25 years after Power Smart was born, a Power Smart Prize Home

Image of a PNE Prize Home in the 1950s
PNE Prize Homes decades ago, including this 1950s-era prefab home, weren't big on energy efficiency. But in 2014, the PNE Prize Home has been designed very much with Power Smart in mind.

Times have really changed: first-ever home offered 'exciting' electric stove

Eighty years ago, the popular Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) had a new attraction: the very first PNE Prize Home.

Called the "Dream Home", the 1934 prize was the height of luxury for its time. It was valued at $5,000 and boasted some great features, notably a modern electric stove. At the close of The Fair, a team of Clydesdales moved the house from the fairgrounds to its final location on Dundas Street in Vancouver.

And 25 years ago, when Power Smart was born, the 1989 Prize Home was a "Quality Plus" home, the flagship for a new BC Hydro Power Smart program designed to provide comfortable, efficient, quality homes.

Even in 1989, a lot of the features of the "Quality Plus" home sounded familiar, including a focus on economical heating, improved ventilation, and extra insulation. And new compact fluorescent lightbulbs were used throughout the 1989 home.

80 years later, luxury and efficiency go hand in hand

Things have changed a bit since that team of horses dragged the Dream Home to Dundas Street, and even since the launch of Quality Plus homes. Today's luxury homes are bigger, more impressive, and the list of exciting features includes more than just a stove.

And this year, the PNE Prize Home is a Power Smart new home.

Image of PNE Prize Home exterior
This year's PNE Prize Home is efficient enough to earn the Power Smart New Home label, yet doesn't sacrifice on comfort. Celebrity designer Jillian Harris handled the interior design for a home that will be located in her hometown of Kelowna.

Energy-efficient features built in, from the ground up

Designed and built with health and comfort in mind, energy-efficient homes like the Prize Home are built to higher efficiency standards than an average newly built home. Power Smart new homes use up to 30 per cent less energy than an average home in today's market.

That means the lucky winner of this year's Prize Home will save money on electricity bills for years to come. What makes a new home like this one so efficient? It starts with the construction.

This year's PNE Prize Home was designed in partnership between BC Hydro, Britco, and Ecolighten. Ecolighten developed an energy-efficient design early on in the construction process. By considering the energy efficient goals and performance early, there are fewer construction surprises and better energy performance results for the home.

Some of the features that make the 2014 home Power Smart:

  • Windows: the home features high-performance ENERGY STARĀ® rated windows with an overall U-value of 0.29. That's better performance than what's specified in the B.C. building code.
  • Heating: heating is done by a heat pump with variable refrigerant flow technology, which controls the interior temperature of the home more precisely. This helps avoid wear and tear on the heating system caused by multiple on/off cycles.
  • Air quality: a heat recovery core warms fresh, cold air coming in from outside, creating a constant supply of fresh air and a more comfortable home.
  • ENERGY STAR major appliances, including the clothes washer, dishwasher, and a truly modern electric stove.

Learn more about features in Power Smart homes

Modern design features add comfort and style

Making a new home energy-efficient doesn't mean sacrificing style. This year's Prize Home is a great example of how luxury design and top energy performance go together. Celebrity designer Jillian Harris designed the interior of this year's PNE Prize Home, which will be located in her hometown of Kelowna, B.C.

Learn more about the Pacific National Exhibition and the Prize Home