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23/Jul 2013

The White House Becomes The Green House-Taking Energy Efficient to the Next Level by Anna Proctor

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Buffi and Dave Wronka’s house is well known locally as “The White House” of the Oro-Medonte Artisan tour…now it will be known for something else as well!  Buffi and Dave believe strongly in protecting the environment, and in green heating and cooling solutions.  So much so, that when they built their house 23 years ago, they installed a Geothermal groundsource heat pump system and did away with fossil fuels.  Now, 23 years later, they are updating that system, and adding solar panels to their implement shed, taking their green power to the next level!

Local businesses Groundheat North and LIM Energy Inc. have been working with Buffi and Dave to realise their dream of continuing to use the earth to heat their house, while at the same time bring their electric bills down by adding solar panels.  “Kevin (from LIM) and Peter and Brent from Groundheat North have been amazing to work with –we have been so impressed with the level of service from both companies.  They both took the project from paper to completion, taking care of permits, engineering, planning and building, so that we didn’t have to worry about anything,” says Buffi.  “We didn’t want to go back to fossil fuels after being green for so long, and the fact that this was an affordable option was great for us….adding the solar panels just makes our home even greener, which was one of our goals.”

There is a popular misconception that Geothermal groundsource heat pumps are expensive to install and that the initial cost is too great to be a cost effective option.  These days, the cost of the system has come down a lot, and there are many ways to finance your costs, including leasing, rent to own, financing and more.  As early as year two of any of these options, as regular utility bills continue to rise while your lease/financing payments stay the same, you start to get ahead of what you would have paid with traditional fossil fuels. And by year ten or even sooner you are looking at completely free heating and cooling for your home…a significant savings over the years. 

All of these decisions also mean that Buffi and Dave’s home will not be contributing greenhouse gases to our environment, something more homeowners in Oro should think about in order to preserve our area’s natural beauty.  For more information about Groundheat North go to www.groundheat.com and for more information about solar power and LIM Energy, go to www.limenergy.ca.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people in North Simcoe converted to these green ways and we could all contribute-maybe North Simcoe could become known as the greenest area in Ontario!  Let’s go for it!  And kudos to Buffi and Dave for leading the way!