Six months ago, Rudy Reger stopped paying his utility bills.
Not out of spite or a lack of funds, but because he moved into a net-zero home.
“We are roughly about 15 per cent more than a traditional build. But not having any utilities, you’re actually cash positive the minute you move in,” said the president and owner of Energy Smart Canada.
Reger has a generator connected to a pond outside of his home which pulls in geothermal energy.
To offset the electricity of the generator, he installed solar panels in his backyard.
He spoke about his and his company’s efforts with green living being the topic of Thursday afternoon’s Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) forum.
“Being energy efficient in your home is a direct saving for your bottom line. And then the other is that it’s a positive environmental impact. And so for people who care about that, that’s a great way to achieve that benefit,” said Environment Lethbridge’s executive director Kathleen Sheppard.
Reger said generally the cost of setting up the systems are paid off in eight to 12 years and lead to longer-term savings.
He has noticed people are getting more interested in investing in renewable resources.
His company has set up four homes in southern Alberta in the last 18 months.
“The interest is really increasing crazy significantly right now. Years ago, it was obviously a little bit harder because convincing people to go all the way. Now, I wouldn’t say it’s becoming standard, but it’s becoming more known,” Reger said.
With Lethbridge among the sunniest and windiest cities in Canada, it might just become more of a standard.