About Solar Homes Inc.
Meet Calgary's first Net Zero home renovation owner
and founder of Solar Homes Inc.
About Peter Darlington
The founder of Solar Homes Inc., Peter Darlington, started out in the construction industry in 1996 working with stucco and on the building envelope. Four years later, he started his own company called Peter’s Exterior Contracting. Over the last twenty years, he has successfully installed exterior cladding on hundreds of homes and commercial buildings.
In 2014, Peter took interest in an online course by Marc Rosenbaum titled Zero Net Energy Homes and later also became accredited as a Certified Passive House Consultant. This launched what would be the next phase in Peter’s career. He soon founded Solar Homes Inc. in order to offer contracting and consulting services to those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. In order to prove his abilities, on September 1, 2015, Peter transformed his ordinary house into a Net Zero energy solar home.
Walking The Talk.
Net Zero energy homes take advantage of renewable resources to produce as much energy as they consume over the span of a year. In Peter’s case, this was achieved by installing a solar array on his garage roof and by reducing his home’s energy consumption through proper insulation, airtightness, high-performing windows, as well as energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Over the next twelve months, the solar panels on Peter’s home produced slightly more energy than his household consumed.
As a result of the renovations, in one year, Peter prevented 13 tonnes of CO2, one of the gases found to be responsible for climate change, from entering the atmosphere. In addition to earning bragging rights, Peter also saved $2,000 on his family’s annual energy bill.
As of 2018 he installed another 5.2Kw of solar and is generating enough to provide the energy for his home and one vehicle. He is now saving closer to $5,000 annually.
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Reaping the Benefits.
After a year's worth of monitoring, Peter was proud to announce that the solar panels on his garage roof actually produced slightly more energy than he and his family had consumed in their home. Amazingly, this energy powered his entire home including lighting, appliances, electrical outlets, hot water heating, as well as space heating and cooling.
As of April 2018, Peter is a proud owner of a 2014 Chevy Volt. After finishing the planned installation of additional solar panels on Peter's home, this vehicle will be solar-powered and carbon-neutral. As a result, Peter expects to save a total of $4,000 to $5,000 per year on energy costs (home energy plus vehicle fuel).