I’ve been aware of this initiative for a while, but Marshall Homes is finally making some noise regarding its Copperfield subdivision development project in Oshawa. Ontario Energy Minister Donna Cansfield was on hand this week to bring attention to new homes that the developer will equip with solar-thermal-geoexchange clean energy systems — what Marshall calls its STREAM system, which is being supplied by Toronto-based Clean Energy Developments using technology from Enerworks Inc. of Dorchester, Ont.
“There’s no reason why clean energy systems shouldn’t be an option for any new home built in Canada,” said Craig Marshall, president of the Ontario-based home developer, which says its STREAM system can save homeowners more than $2,000 a year on home energy bills and reduce conventional energy consumption by up to 79 per cent compared to traditional, natural gas furnaces and hot water heaters.
The system, the company says, will be an upgrade option for all remaining un-sold homes in its Copperfield community, and an option for all homes in its upcoming Oshawa community, appropriately called Kingsfield Loop. As an option, the cost of the system — roughly $22,000 — is wrapped into a homeowner’s mortage so there’s no upfront financial pain by having to pay for the system as a standalone purchase.
This is not an experiment, a trial or a demonstration project. This is the real deal — no subsidies, no smoke and mirrors. Marshall is simply recognizing that more new home buyers want renewable choices and protection against future energy/electricity price increases, not to mention the option of playing their role as green consumers. Getting a developer to fully back this kind of option has been a long time coming, and Marshall Homes should be given a pat on the back for being progressive. Hopefully other developers out there will follow the lead.