Manitoba couple embraces green living in province’s sole certified passive home

Click to play video: 'Manitoba’s only passive home'
Manitoba’s only passive home
We take you into the province's only certified passive home. What it means and why there are so few? – Jan 10, 2024

Randy Webber and Mavis Lewis-Webber are embracing green living in Manitoba’s sole certified-passive home.

The property looks like a regular home about an hour north of Winnipeg but it is rather unique.

“The east, west, and south walls are 18 inches thick, and the north walls are 24 inches thick,” said Randy.

The home is energy-efficient and uses geothermal energy for temperature control and solar power is used for the rest.

Click to play video: 'Province, feds pledge $475 million toward Manitoba green energy goals'
Province, feds pledge $475 million toward Manitoba green energy goals

The couple says they wanted a custom passive home to reduce their carbon footprint and the result was a comfortable house with very low energy bills.

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“It’s also very quiet because the only thing that you kind of hear is the fridge,” said Mavis. “The lowest cost has been about $475, and the highest year was about $800,” added Randy.

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Evan Proven is the vice-president of Sun Certified Builders Co-op, which specializes in energy-efficient homes and he says there aren’t many homes like this.

“There’s not a lot of market right now. And it’s really going to be like that because there’s a higher cost associated,” he said. “Builders have no incentive to change any of  their construction methods, uh, at this time.”

Last summer, the previous Manitoba government relaxed energy efficiency requirements for new builds and designers say high-efficiency construction needs more government incentive to become mainstream.

“It can get frustrating. But we chose to do our own thing, and our own thing is producing these buildings, showing people that can be done,” said Donald Proven, Designer at Sun Certified Builders Co-op.

The upfront investment can deter builders from the project but Donald says he believes it’s important to put the planet first.

— With files from Global’s Iris Dyck


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