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

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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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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January 18, 2012No Comments

Live Chat Today on Ottawa Citizen Online

Live Chat Today on Ottawa Citizen Online

Today I’ll be doing a live chat for the Ottawa Citizen website on energy efficient construction.  My guest panelist will be David Foster, the Director of Environmental Affairs for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.  Log in here today between noon and 1:00.

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December 8, 201110 Comments

Passive House VS Active House: Two Competing Visions for the Future of Homes

Passive House VS Active House: Two Competing Visions for the Future of Homes

Passive House is a building standard originally developed in Germany that can reduce heating needs by an astonishing 90%. They reach this target by making the house extremely well insulated, virtually air-tight, and by orienting and designing the house to maximize passive solar gain. Although this concept has been slow to take off in North […]

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April 5, 20114 Comments

Carleton University High Performance Housing Group

Carleton University High Performance Housing Group

The Carleton University Engineering program has a 4th year design project that focuses on High Performance Housing.  The students in the course have spent the year investigating construction techniques and technologies that dramatically reduce the energy use in homes.  I’ve been very closely involved with this group of students because one of their course deliverables […]

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March 29, 2011No Comments

Solar Water Heaters – The Lonely Spinster Aunt of Energy Technologies

Solar Water Heaters – The Lonely Spinster Aunt of Energy Technologies

The conventional wisdom around marketing energy technologies has been that the only thing that purchasers care about is payback.  Certainly, that’s the first question that anyone asks.  The assumption is that the decision to purchase energy efficiency or renewable technologies is strictly financial, and if the technology can pass some internal hurdle rate in the […]

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August 27, 2010No Comments

Why Are R-2000 Homes Healthier to Live In?

Why Are R-2000 Homes Healthier to Live In?

Health Canada has been studying the health of people before and after moving into new R-2000 homes and non-R2000 homes.  Their results clearly indicate “that people who moved into R-2000 houses found that their health improved more than those who moved into conventional houses.” Urbandale R-2000 homes are healthier than conventional houses because they have […]

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April 1, 2010No Comments

Green Home Labeling Programs

Green Home Labeling Programs

Third party verification through labeling programs are critical to promoting green building because frankly, if we say our homes are great, customers may not believe us, but if a third party says it, then a purchaser may take that more seriously.

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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.