Stories & Features

Win a house... win freedom from high energy bills

Like most luxury prize homes, the grand prize package in this year's PNE Prize Home Lottery is pretty much the height of luxury. But because it's Net Zero-ready, it's designed to keep its future owner's energy bills at an all-time low. Show caption
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LED lighting you can control with your phone and blinds you can lower with the flip of a switch are just two ways that smart tech in this year’s prize home is bringing energy savings to your fingertips. Show caption
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This year's PNE Prize Home is no Zero – but it is Net-Zero ready

Each year, many of the attendees to the Fair at the PNE wander through the grounds with daydreams of being the lucky person to "Win a house, win a car" in the PNE Prize Home lottery.

They're probably imagining the life of luxury in Naramata: designer furnishings, top-of-the-line appliances and the incredible lake views that come with this year's home.

What they may not know is that this year, they could also be imagining a life free from high energy bills.

That's because the prize home this year is built to be Net-Zero ready: it's up to 80% more energy efficient than a home built to the BC Building Code. And if you add on-site renewable energy production (such as solar panels) when it becomes home, it could produce as much energy as it uses.

Add that to the list of smart products and energy-efficient features throughout the home, and you've got a ticket to a lifetime of energy savings.

Energy-efficient features add savings to the designer style

It's no surprise that the luxury home offers some pretty stunning views inside and out. But the eventual winner will also benefit from high building quality, increased home comfort, and the latest in smart home technology that offers energy savings without sacrificing the designer style. How much saving? Net Zero-Ready homes use about 20% of the energy that a comparable conventional home would use.

If you stop by the prize home for a tour, keep your eye out for these features:

  • Smart lighting: Philips Smart Hue bulbs in fixtures throughout the home mean that you can control the lighting level and even colour from your smartphone. Plus, all the lighting is LED, which will save 75% compared to the energy used by traditional incandescents.
  • Better insulation, to better insulate you from outside noise: Net Zero Ready homes are more durable than conventional homes; in particular, the prize home this year has high-performance doors, better insulated walls and a better insulated roof. This all adds up to big reductions in your energy use, but it also makes for a quieter, more comfortable home. You won't hear your fancy new neighbours, their dog barking, or their lawnmower.
  • ENERGY STAR®-certified washer and dryer: Your dryer uses more energy per use than anything else in your home, so you save big when you go ENERGY STAR.
  • Smart Nest thermostat: You can control your heating from your smartphone, and the Nest thermostat will even learn your habits and adjust the heating automatically when you're sleeping or away from the house. You can save 5 to 10% on your heating costs with these automatic adjustments alone.
  • Remote-controlled blinds: It may be a beautiful view outside, but closing the blinds when the sun is blazing in or when it's cold outside can cut your heating and cooling costs. Luckily, it'll be easy to do in the prize home, despite the big windows: the blinds are operated by remote control.
  • ENERGY STAR windows: If you do leave the windows open, take comfort in the fact that these are ENERGY STAR-certified too. They feature a coating that improves energy efficiency by reflecting radiant heat from the sun back out in the summer, keeping the interior of the house cool, and reflecting radiant heat from heating back inside in the winter, saving you about 20% compared to conventional windows.

Learn more about the PNE Prize Home