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!

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January 7, 20152 Comments

Presentation at Carleton University: “The Business of Green Housing”

Presentation at Carleton University: “The Business of Green Housing”

On Nov. 18th I was invited to give a presentation as part of the Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre Lecture Series.  My presentation was on the Business of Green Housing. Numerous surveys indicate that consumers are willing to pay more for energy efficient homes, but sales statistics across the country and my own personal experience […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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October 25, 2013No Comments

City Regulations As A Barrier to Housing Innovation

City Regulations As A Barrier to Housing Innovation

When people talk about the barriers to green building, the most common points that come up are the high cost of new technologies, the low cost of energy (at least in Canada), and the lack of consumer demand.  Another factor that is not as well recognized is the barrier to innovation caused by our city […]

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July 29, 2013No Comments

Experts on Call

Experts on Call

I was interviewed on 580 CFRA’s “Experts on Call” last weekend by Angie Poirier, host of the Majic Morning Show and CTV Ottawa Morning.  We had a nice discussion and talked about what differentiates a high performance home from a Code built home.  This included an explanation of the Energy Star Program and Urbandale’s unique […]

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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 […]

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October 1, 2012No Comments

Urbandale’s Proud Foundations™

Urbandale’s Proud Foundations™

Urbandale was featured in the Ottawa Citizen again as we announced our recent improvements to our standard specifications for all our homes. Our homes will be built to the updated 2012 ENERGY STAR® levels that use 20% less energy than a house built to code. The improved efficiency comes from some smart upgrades, such as […]

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July 12, 2012No Comments

ENERGY STAR® Participants Meeting

ENERGY STAR® Participants Meeting

On June 5th, I attended the ENERGY STAR® Participants Meeting at Chateau Laurier.  I had been invited to give a presentation entitled “Leveraging the ENERGY STAR® Label in your Marketing”. I’ve been working with the folks from the Office of Energy Efficiency for years from way back in my consulting days, so the event was […]

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March 2, 20122 Comments

Urbandale builds the first home in Canada to the new 2012 R-2000 Standard

Urbandale builds the first home in Canada to the new 2012 R-2000 Standard

Natural Resources Canada recently announced the launch of the revised 2012 R-2000 Standard. Urbandale played a major role in this launch by hosting the event in our demo home – the first home in Canada built to the new standard. This event was symbolic for me personally because it represented the results of several years […]

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August 23, 2011No Comments

Green Mortgages

Green Mortgages

The Ottawa Citizen recently printed an article on the growing popularity of Green Mortgages – where banks offer lower interest rates or other incentives for homes that have achieved a specific level of energy efficiency.  I was pleased to see the article because this is something that I have been promoting to my contacts within […]

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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.