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

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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October 28, 20141 Comment

Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation

Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation

Construction has officially started at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation which is being built on the Carleton University Campus.  The centre is being built to Urbandale’s home specifications and will be used to study future technologies designed to reduce the energy use in homes.  We’re really excited about this project because it has […]

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April 9, 20142 Comments

Carleton University’s High Performance Housing Project

Carleton University’s High Performance Housing Project

On Friday I was a guest judge at the final presentations of Carleton University’s High Performance Housing group.  I’ve been involved with the High Performance Housing group for a number of years now, acting occasionally as a guest lecturer or mentor to some of the groups.  This year I wasn’t as involved in the project as […]

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August 6, 20131 Comment

This is not the future of building.

This is not the future of building.

A Stockholm architecture firm has created a lot of buzz recently with their plans to build a “hairy” skyscraper.  The building would have thousands of piezoelectric straws coming off the structure that harness energy as they sway in the wind.  The project has created a lot of interest because it is extremely innovative and looks […]

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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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January 7, 20136 Comments

Water Heaters – What you need to know to heat your H2O

Water Heaters – What you need to know to heat your H2O

As part of our upgrade to the 2012 ENERGY STAR® standard, we changed our standard water heaters from regular tank water heaters to condensing tank water heaters. In this post I’d like to discuss the main types of residential water heaters, so purchasers will have a better understanding of what system is best for them. […]

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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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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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October 12, 2011No Comments

Urbandale Donating Home for Research Facility at Carleton University

Urbandale Donating Home for Research Facility at Carleton University

I’ve been keeping this quiet for a couple of years because it was not official, but now that it’s been reported in the Ottawa Business Journal, and the Ottawa Citizen, I suppose the cat’s already out of the bag.  Urbandale will be building a house on the Carleton University campus to be used as a […]

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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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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.