Stories & Features

PNE Prize Home is a dream come true if you're hoping for lake views... and lower energy bills

Image of the 2019 PNE Prize Home balcony
When it gets relocated to Kelowna's Kirschner Mountain, this year's PNE Prize Home will be bringing more than just designer interiors. It's bringing top-of-the-line energy efficiency, thanks to its Net Zero Ready construction.

Net Zero-Ready construction the cherry on top of this year's prize

What does your dream home look like? If it's a $2 million modern farmhouse with lake views and a net total of $0 in electricity costs, the PNE Prize Home fits the bill.

For the second consecutive year, the PNE is raffling off a Net Zero Ready Prize Home to a lucky winner. This contemporary abode is more than beautiful – it's at the next level of energy efficiency, among only a handful of other Canadian homes.

What makes a home Net Zero Ready?

A Net Zero Ready home is up to 80% more energy efficient than a home built to the B.C. Building Code. The term "net zero ready" means that the home is designed to be able to produce as much energy as it consumes with the addition of on-site renewable energy. Once that on-site renewable energy is in place, it becomes a Net Zero home.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has a labelling program to recognize Net Zero and Net Zero Ready homes, which are verified against rigorous technical requirements. The Province of B.C. has set a goal that by 2032 all homes and buildings be constructed to Net Zero Ready performance levels [PDF].

Image of the 2019 PNE Prize Home kitchen
Like any good prize home, this year's offering from the PNE boasts a kitchen to make even the most experienced gourmands drool. But behind the scenes, energy efficiency fans have a lot to celebrate too.

Features of the prize home are about more than energy efficiency

Visit the PNE to tour and learn about the forward-thinking home that's up for grabs. You might notice the beautiful contemporary design, the stainless steel appliances, or if you take a peek outside – the robotic lawnmower.

But some of the best features of this home aren't even on display.

Although not as flashy as the larger-than-life walk-in closet or the luxurious kitchen backsplash, the energy-efficient elements working behind the scenes are what make this home truly special. These Net Zero-Ready features include:

  • ENERGY STAR® qualified heat pump
  • High-performance windows and doors
  • High-rated insulation throughout the walls and roof
  • Recirculating water heater and heat recovery ventilator
  • Smart energy monitoring system
  • Electric vehicle charger in the garage

What does Net Zero mean for your home and the environment?

Designed to keep utility bills low, Net Zero-Ready homes are built with the best-performing insulation, windows and doors to help keep the cold inside during the summer, and outside in the winter. They're also equipped with energy- and water-saving fixtures and appliances to minimize your home's environmental footprint. By design definition, these homes are ready for the addition of renewable energy sources on-site, like solar panels on the roof, which means they can produce as much energy as they consume.

The superior construction and ventilation systems make Net Zero Ready homes better for your comfort too, providing an interior that significantly reduces outdoor allergens or sounds from coming through.

Heat pumps and your electricity bill

One of the Net Zero Ready Prize Home's most notable features is its heat pump. A heat pump moves heat from one place to another, rather than creating it. That means it's up to three times more efficient than a baseboard heating system. It provides even temperatures throughout the house, which is more comfortable than the mix of hot and cold spots that baseboard heaters are known for.

Colwood homeowner raves about his new heat pump

The operational costs of a heat pump are comparable to other home heating systems such as a gas furnace. If switching from gas to an electrically operated heat pump, your winter gas bill will likely decrease but your electricity bill will go up.

As summers continue to heat up, more British Columbians are looking for home cooling. Fortunately, heat pumps can also be used to cool. If you don't currently use an air conditioning unit, using a heat pump for cooling will increase your electricity bill.  

Considering a heat pump? Info and tips

Winning changes to make at home

The PNE fair is open August 17 to September 2, and the Prize Home winner will be drawn on September 9.

Whether your name gets pulled or not, you can still win by making your home more efficient. BC Hydro offers great rebates for energy-efficient upgrades in your home and lifestyle. Our current rebates include:

  • Up to $2,000 for a heat pump
  • Up to $5,500 for insulation
  • Up to $2,000 for energy-efficient windows and doors

As you meander through the PNE Prize Home tour, on what we hope is a beautiful day in our province, think about the small changes you can make to help reduce your home's environmental footprint.

Learn more about the PNE Prize Home

Win a PNE prize package when you follow us  

Want to win a prize packages featuring gate passes, ride passes, and VIP Express passes to tour the Prize Home?

Stay tuned to Instagram on August 16, 2019 for your chance to win.

See the full contest rules and regulations [PDF, 87 KB]