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!

July 12, 2012 No Comments

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 a bit of a reunion for me where I ran into some people that I haven’t seen in a long time.

I gave my presentation as part of a panel that included Kim Griffin from Maritime Electric, Susan Winter from Electro-Federation Canada, and Linda Varangu from the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care. We spoke for about 15 minutes each on our own experiences with the ENERGY STAR® program. Linda’s presentation was particularly interesting to me because she talked about how hospitals and other Health Care facilities have been saving money by investing in energy efficiency. My own presentation seemed to be well received, though there wasn’t a lot of time for questions afterwards unfortunately.

The highlight of the day came from the keynote speaker, Jon Eakes.  Jon has been a host of various do-it-yourself construction shows since the 1970s, including Mr. Chips, You Can Do It, Renovation Zone, and Ask Jon Eakes. His presentation was entertaining and far-reaching, covering topics as varied as how we should be dealing with the terrorism threat, to making love like a Frenchman. Jon delved into his military background to discuss how we should use Goals, Strategies and Tactics to pursue our own personal branding and career fulfillment goals.

For me, the event was a chance to share some of what I’ve learned in my four years of selling ENERGY STAR® homes, and over ten years of working with the ENERGY STAR® program.  Marketing energy efficiency can be challenging because there are a lot of different aspects to it.  I generally shy away from focusing on the “saving the earth” element of it because I feel as a marketing strategy it can backfire. I try not to use terms like “green” or “sustainable” when advertising our homes because those terms have different meanings to different people.  Instead, I make the case that we can make products that are more energy efficient by demanding the highest levels of quality in our production process. The ENERGY STAR® label is the third party recognition certifying we’re making the best products in our category. That’s a lesson any industry trying to promote the ENERGY STAR® label can use.

Posted by Matthew


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Matthew Sachs


  • 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)


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