Hydro bills may be a fact of life but Laval developer Jean-Francois Voyer is hoping to change that.

His company, Construction Voyer, recently completed construction on a six-unit condo called Net Zero Energy.

“The principle behind Net Zero is to be able to produce as much energy inside the building or on the building itself as much as the whole building will consume throughtout the year,” he said.

The condo isn’t entirely self-sufficient. It’s connected to the Hydro grid to make up for less sunlight during the winter months.

“But at other times of the year and other times of the day when the solar panels are producing more energy, we’re re-sending the extra energy in the Hydro-Quebec network,” said Voyer.

That extra power will translate into credit for the condo’s owners, so the net annual Hydro cost will be close to zero.

The condos are better insulated than the average home and the building’s mechanical room contains a heat pump that preheats water to reduce the amount of energy needed for hot water.

Of course, the advanced technology doesn’t come cheap, as the units can add between 12 and 15 per cent to the price of a home.

“The first month that you live in such a unit, you immediately start saving on your Hydro bill,” said Voyer. “On the other hand, you start paying more on your mortgage.”