Ravenwood Homes launches $0 energy bill line of homes in Cape Coral

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Ravenwood Homes recently launched their series of Net Zero and High Performance Homes. The homes are aiming to either cut home energy costs by over 50% or cut them out completely.

Energy efficiency has been built into higher end homes for awhile, but Ravenwood Homes say they want to offer those same energy efficiencies to the average buyer of 1,500 square foot homes as well as the million dollar homes.

Ravenwood Homes partner Reed Schweizer says the company has been working on the concept for the past two years. Schweizer says like many local builders they had been working predominately remodeling jobs during the slow economy, but felt in order to stay competitive they needed to look at the future of real estate. Then one day Schweizer says he received a call from Dave Jenkins, “It was during that conversation with Dave we had what you would call an “a-ha moment”. We were talking about energy efficiency and the ‘green’ movement that has swept the globe over the past couple of years and thought why not take it to the next level and look at building homes with minimal to no energy costs,” said Schweizer.

With energy costs rising and seeing that chances of declining rates in the future were slim to none, Ravenwood began thinking about the concept of offering homes comparable to other builders with no energy costs, “We need to change the way people think when buying a home. Home buyers should not just think about the cost of the home construction, but the ongoing costs after they move in,” says Schwiezer.

With that in mind the company began working with their subcontractors to develop homes that were energy efficient in ways not seen in this area before. Adding solar panels, high efficient air conditioning units, high quality insulation and the actual design and structure itself the company feels it now has the perfect energy efficient homes.

The builder has developed the Net Zero Homes, which come with solar panels equipped and the High Performance Homes which do not include solar panels, but can be added at a later date for an additional cost.

The other goal of Ravenwood was to create the energy efficient homes and make them affordable to the average home buyer. Energy efficiency has been built into higher end homes for awhile, but Ravenwood Homes say they want to offer those same energy efficiencies to the average buyer of 1,500 square foot homes as well as the million dollar homes, “If it is done the right way you end up with a beautiful home and no energy bill,” says Ravenwood partner Dave Wishtischin.

Spending two years developing the concept, the company has designed six different models ranging from 1,750 square feet under air to 2,680 square feet under air. Prices range from $212,400 to $334,529 for their High Performance Home lines.

The company says building the same size house with an average builder will cost the same initial cost, but with a High Performance Home, the average energy bill will be $70 per month, saving the home buyer close to a $150 per month. The Net Zero home will have a $0 electric bill and save the buyer on the same home just over $200 per month. Savings that Schweizer says will give the company the edge over many other builders in this market.

Thursday morning, two years of work and preparation came to reality, as the company held the groundbreaking of its first Net Zero Home in south Cape Coral on Gleason Parkway, “We want to have a local impact and be a leader, it is time to start building homes again in Southwest Florida,” said Schweizer during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Wishtischin says the energy efficient homes will appeal not only to local home buyers, but the European market as well, “Europeans have been using energy efficient construction practices for the last 20 years. They have come to expect it and we feel this will be a particular draw to that market.

When asked why potential home buyers should seriously give Ravenwood’s new line of homes a serious look, Wishtischin offers up his advice, “You don’t want to be the person who just signed a contract to build a home using obsolete construction methods.”

The company hopes to have the new home complete by the end of the year and says it is already has interest from buyers in building others.

*photo courtesy of Paige Wilson