How does a passive house perform with little daylight?

We just had the darkest winter in 82 years! We know you’ll be keen to hear what this means for a passive house.

In our home province, Ontario, we just experienced the darkest winter in more than eight decades. If you are planning for a home with a solar installation for net metering, how our model home fared will be of real interest.

EkoBuilt’s model home is based in Ottawa, Canada’s rural west end, and includes a 1,500 sq ft, four-bedroom bungalow, as well as a two-storey coach house (garage at ground level; office / studio space above). The 6kW solar array sits atop the coach house.

The EkoBuilt model home includes a coach home with a small roof top solar array for net metering the home.
Click to learn more about our passive model home, which we open to the public several times each year.

Passive house HVAC

The model home is a fully passive structure, whose HVAC systems are run on just electricity. This is an important reminder – there is no furnace, no gas, no propane. Just electricity is needed to run the home’s heat pump, ERV, and hot water, and of course to provide lights. That’s it.

During the sunniest months of the year, the home is so energy efficient, the net metering makes the home net positive. In other words, the solar array produces more energy than is needed to run the home. This creates a net credit.

So, how did it do in February, the darkest month of a very dark winter? Read on, or check out our video on Tik Tok for the results.

Utility bill for February

Nothing really changed from the passive house perspective. The solar array still produced electricity, just not as much. So even in a month with extremely low sunlight, net metering made this home so much more affordable to own and run:

$153.65 total electricity bill, including delivery, admin fees from electrical company

$113.14 generation credit (solar panels)

$40.51 net cost

Takeaway: What’s good for the environment is also what’s best for your bottom line.

The open plan living space of the EkoBuilt model passive home has a kitchen, dining space, and living area.
The open plan main living space is designed to capture sunlight

Net metering makes sense in a passive home

If you want to truly go sustainable, a passive home is the best way to approach net metering. Your starting point for energy usage will be so much lower.

Check out our passive house plans, starting at just 400 sq ft and running up to 3,000 sq ft.

Hoping to discuss your project? Give us a shout!

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