This blog explores changes in the energy industry from an insider’s perspective as it transitions from the old centralized utility model to the new paradigm of distributed generation.
This blog was previously called Inside the Housing Evolution and focused on energy efficient homes. Ultimately, it’s all linked. Soon, every building will have the potential to generate, store, and sell energy. Welcome to the era of the transactive grid – the greatest shift the electricity sector has seen in over 100 years!

ARCHIVE

November 17, 20141 Comment

Would you pay for someone else’s clean energy?

Would you pay for someone else’s clean energy?

Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen on Oct. 23, 2014. Canada has many examples of innovative green building projects, but without your financial support, most would never have succeeded. Some examples:   In the Drake Landing community in Okotoks, Alta., 52 homes are connected through underground pipes that deliver heating supplied by solar panels. A […]

Read more
July 21, 2014No Comments

Why highrises are good for the environment

Why highrises are good for the environment

Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen July 5th, 2014  What type of housing do you think has the smallest environmental impact? If you’re picturing a cabin in the woods, think again. Actually, high-density living, such as a downtown apartment building, is much more environmentally friendly than living in a rural community. It may surprise you […]

Read more
June 11, 20135 Comments

Would you want your tax dollars paying for someone else’s clean energy?

Would you want your tax dollars paying for someone else’s clean energy?

There’s a small community of around 1,000 homes just outside of Austin, Texas that is being used to research how we’ll be using energy in the future.  Pecan Street, supported by the US Department of Energy, the University of Texas and some major private partners, is studying families living in energy efficient housing with smart […]

Read more
February 22, 2011No Comments

The Only Company that Will Pay You to Use Less of their Product

The Only Company that Will Pay You to Use Less of their Product

Last week I joined a group of leading builders in Toronto to discuss what measures Enbridge can take to help homeowners reduce their gas usage.  Enbridge has been actively involved in promoting energy efficiency improvements for years through their Demand Side Management (DSM) programs.  (Coincidentally, I actually worked with Enbridge in developing their DSM program […]

Read more
January 19, 2011No Comments

The Challenges of Urban Intensification

The Challenges of Urban Intensification

I read a thought provoking article in last weeks Ottawa Citizen about a local infill project that has been nominated for an Ottawa Architectural Conservation Award.  The article says that the development of the School House Lofts at 19 Melrose Ave. is “…infill done right: Not too tall, not too dense, and not ugly.”  A […]

Read more
January 11, 2011No Comments

Is Renewable Energy Suitable for Low-Income Housing?

Is Renewable Energy Suitable for Low-Income Housing?

There have been a number of examples of net-zero energy homes built across the country that showcase that it is possible to successfully integrate renewable energy into new home construction.  The main drawback to date has been the cost, with these high-performance homes typically costing $100,000 – $150,000 more than traditional homes.  Now there’s a […]

Read more
July 13, 20102 Comments

Green Building Ottawa Conference “Retrofit – Sustainability for the Future”

Green Building Ottawa Conference “Retrofit – Sustainability for the Future”

The June issue of Ottawa Construction News had an article on a presentation I gave at Carleton University’s Green Building Ottawa Conference.  (Actually, the article attributes the quotes to Michael Sachs, not Matthew, but trust me it’s me!).

Read more
May 6, 2010No Comments

Integrated Community Energy Solutions

Integrated Community Energy Solutions

I was recently invited to join 8 other progressive builders from across Canada for a conference to discuss Integrated Community Energy Solutions (ICES).

Read more
April 23, 20102 Comments

Carleton University High Performance Housing Project

Carleton University High Performance Housing Project

Over the last year, I’ve been working closely with Carleton University Engineering students on their final year project focused on High Performance Housing.

Read more

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matthew Sachs

P. Eng. LEED AP

  • COO of Peak Power since July 2016
  • General Manager of Urbandale Construction (May 2008 – Oct 2014)
  • Vice-Chair R-2000 Renewal Committee
  • Member of Energy Star Technical Advisory Committee
  • Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Green Committee
  • Recipient of Canadian Homebuilder’s Association 2009 R-2000 Builder of the Year Award
  • Participant in Natural Resources Canada’s Technology Roadmap for Sustainable Housing
  • Energy Consultant with Marbek Resource Consultants (Feb 2002 – May 2006)

ABOUT PEAK POWER

Peak Power is a Microgrid project development company focused on delivering innovative solutions to offset the most expensive hours of electric demand. We specialize in optimizing the revenue streams from energy storage, advanced building automation, and renewable technologies for customer sited and utility scale projects. Please visit www.peakpowerenergy.com.