First Net-Negative Home in Lethbridge County

Published on December 05, 2018

First Net-Negative Home in Lethbridge County


Rudy Reger, owner of Energy Smart Canada, has built an efficient home that produces more renewable energy than it uses over the course of a year, making it the first ‘net-negative’ home in Lethbridge County.


Built as a partnership between Energy Smart Canada, Touchstone Homes, and Greener Homes. Reger’s home is exceptionally efficient, even when compared to a highly efficient Net Zero home - which produces just enough renewable energy to satisfy its energy consumption on a yearly basis.  


To achieve its high level of efficiency and renewably sourced energy, Reger’s net-negative home uses a multitude of green energy strategies, including: heat and power generation through both solar and geothermal methods, LED lighting, a drain-water heat recovery system, heavy duty insulation, and the strategic placing of windows and even the building itself to prevent direct wind buffeting.


Reger admits that for many people, a net-negative home is not the best option, as it requires an energy storage system for any excess energy that is generated, making it have a higher cost than other highly efficient homes. He instead advises people to not go beyond Net Zero levels of efficiency for the time being.


However, the excess energy that is stored can be sold back to companies that are interested in buying renewably sourced energy, and it can also be used to power Reger’s electric vehicles.  


Although his home has a fairly high initial cost, Reger says that his home sees many benefits from the way that it is built.


“The environment is so nice in the house. The temperature never changes, It’s steady all the time,” he said.


Reger also adds that since his home generates all of its own energy, he now has a fixed utility cost and is unaffected by rising utility prices.


High Home Efficiency and Comfort

Improving the level of energy efficiency in your home can have a noticeable effect on how comfortable your living spaces are. By improving how well air sealed your home is, you can work to eliminate unwanted drafts, create a more uniform temperature throughout your home, and even prevent unwanted odours (such as smoke) from finding their way into your home’s interior.


Barrier Sciences Group is happy to provide Air Tightness Tests to homeowners in Ontario, and our Registered Energy Advisors are able to answer any questions you may have about your home’s efficiency and what could be done to improve it. Through a Home Energy Assessment, our advisors can obtain all the information about your home that they need, in order to present you with a list of suggestions for improving efficiency, that they will rank in order of cost-effectiveness.


Quite often, these suggestions are simple and affordable modifications or retrofits, such as improving the level of insulation in the attic, or sealing leaky areas with caulk.


A Home Energy Assessment is also able to help you qualify for any of the home renovation rebates that are currently available to both Enbridge and Union Gas customers - making it even easier for you to see a return on your investment.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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