Oshawa, Ontario [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] In the Oshawa community of Copperfield, the heat was turned on in Ontario’s first production home equipped with a solar-thermal-geoexchange clean energy system. Ontario Energy Minister Donna Cansfield was present as The Stream system, which was unveiled by Marshall Homes, Clean Energy Developments and the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), was shown to use free, renewable heat energy from the sun and below ground.The system, said to be the first production home system to integrate solar and geothermal technologies, powers the home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as providing its domestic hot water (DHW) needs. The Stream saves homeowners up to $2,500 a year on home energy bills, and reduces conventional energy consumption by 79% compared to traditional, natural gas furnaces and hot water heaters, said the release. Minister Cansfield recognized Marshall Homes for its “ongoing commitment to sustainable community development, and for serving as an example for other homebuilders across the province. Today’s announcement is a clear demonstration of how Ontario’s peak energy reduction and renewable energy objectives are being met by simple, practical and affordable solutions.” Solar and geoexchange systems operate on much the same principle as a refrigerator, using a fluid-filled loop of pipes to exchange heat energy with its surroundings. The systems gather heat using a loop extending through a central heat pump to solar panels on the home’s roof (solar-thermal), and to a depth of 180 feet below ground level (geoexchange). During the winter months, the system transfers heat from the sun and the ground into the home and, during the summer months, heat in the home is transferred to the ground. When the two components are combined, the result is an energy system about four times as efficient as a typical natural gas system. “Marshall Homes and Clean Energy Developments are leading a major home energy market change in Canada. Their innovative homes show that geoexchange systems are a viable option that can produce dramatic energy savings, while being reliable and affordable, and go a long way to help preserve the environment. We stand firmly behind such groundbreaking work,” said Ted Kantrowitz, Director of Business Development, CGC. The geothermal heat pump was supplied by Vancouver-based Essential Innovations, and the solar-thermal system was provided by London, Ontario-based Enerworks. Clean Energy Developments’ in-house engineering and design team oversaw the system design, integration and deployment.