Compiled by Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito for residents of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage

Version 1.1

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.

Coho Cost Savings Pie Chart Coho Energy Monitor 2 2013 06

LEFT: Estimated cost savings by category. RIGHT: Sample solar energy production at 78 Village Road, as monitored by Joline Blais.

Cost Replaced by Examples Savings
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.

For more information on Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, visit

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