A family of four in Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage could save in excess of $100,000 over 20 years. The net-zero architecture guarantees a dramatic drop in heating costs--up to $50,000 depending on the unit. Cohousing residents don't need to own their own lawnmower, pickup truck, or kids' bikes, as these can be shared by the community. And neighbors will always be around to lend a hand if you need help with transportation, house maintenance, child care, or moving heavy items.
LEFT: Estimated cost savings by category. RIGHT: Sample solar energy production at 78 Village Road, as monitored by Joline Blais.
|Consumables||Neighbor volunteerism / economies of scale||Shared meals, CSA (farm) discount||$14,000|
|Reusables||Neighbor volunteerism / economies of scale||Children's bikes, clothes, toys||$1,500|
|Services||Neighbor volunteerism||ER visit, Dental consultation, Childcare, Bank loan, Moving help, Grounds maintenance, Pet sitting, Movies/nights out||$28,500|
|Space||Common House||Guest room, shared office space||$30,000|
|Tools||Community items||Rototiller, Wheelbarrow, Snowblower, Mower||$1,250|
|Transportation||Neighbor volunteerism / economies of scale||Pickup truck, Gas (carpooling)||$6,000|
|Utilities||Net-zero architecture||Heating fuel, Electricity, Hot water||$50,000*|
|Total savings: $80,000 - $130,000†|
* $30,000 for Passive House design (all homes); $13,000 if solar hot water; $7,000 if solar electricity.
† Depending on whether home has solar hot water and solar electricity.