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

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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
January 20, 20122 Comments

The Third Industrial Revolution

The Third Industrial Revolution

I just finished a very thought provoking book called “The Third Industrial Revolution”, by Jeremy Rifkin.  Rifkin’s theory is that the world is on the cusp of a Third Industrial Revolution that will change the world’s economies and societies as dramatically as the First and Second Industrial Revolutions had in the 1800s and 1900s.  The […]

Read more
January 18, 2012

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.

Read more
January 3, 20124 Comments

2012 – The Coming Apocalypse for Inefficient Homes

2012 – The Coming Apocalypse for Inefficient Homes

2012 promises to be a defining year for energy efficient housing in Ontario as the Ontario Building Code is being updated to include energy efficiency targets for the first time. In conjunction, the ENERGY STAR® program and the R-2000 program are also changing to make their energy efficiency targets significantly more stringent. With all these […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
October 12, 2011

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 […]

Read more
August 23, 2011

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 […]

Read more
May 10, 2011

Investing in Efficiency as Insurance Against Rising Energy Prices

Investing in Efficiency as Insurance Against Rising Energy Prices

CBC news recently reported on a study that electricity prices across the country are set to rise sharply, and that we should expect to see a rise of more than 50 percent by 2020.  While I personally feel that their estimate is optimistic, there is no doubt that energy prices have nowhere to go but […]

Read more
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 […]

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.