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!

June 28, 2010 No Comments

The Kitchen as a System

Whirlpool is using systems thinking to re-invent the typical kitchen to make the most of waste heat and water. This design is said to use 70% less energy and be 24% cheaper to run… and hell… it looks pretty sexy to boot!

The design has a heat exchanger to capture heat from the fridge’s compressor to use to heat the dishwasher water. It also features fridge drawers (instead of the typical cabinet door) so that less heat escapes when you want something from the fridge. I personally need to open the fridge door and stare at everything inside before deciding what I want, but I suppose this will be useful for some people.

This is obviously a great step in the right direction, and I can’t wait to see some of these ideas being used commercially. As a builder, the next step for us would be to take these concepts and apply it to the house as a whole. By viewing the whole house as a system we can optimize the energy use of a home by using the waste heat outputs of some element of the home as an input into another element. This is the same concept used by heat recovery ventilators that remove the excess heat from the indoor air before exhausting it outside to pre-heat the incoming fresh air. (I’ll discuss HRVs in more detail in another post).

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