If you've been watching the Olympics, hopefully you've seen Austria House, located in Whistler, which is supposed to be the most energy-efficient house in the world. It uses passive solar, with big windows on one side, and over 30" of insulation. Even though it has no traditional heating or AC unit, the temperature stays the same inside no matter what. This is because it uses a sophisticated heat pump built by drexel und weiss. This unit is designed to circulate the air through a passive home, heat water and pump it through the house which also warms it, and provides hot water for domestic use.
The house is 3000 square feet and comfortable which is an amazing design feat. Admittedly it is like spring here... it's colder in the mountains but it is spring at sea level. It's difficult to remember it is still February. A drexel and weiss isn't available easily in Canada, but I wish it was. Germany and actually most European countries are on the forefront of renewable energy development and sustainable technology, and that needs to spread to North America.