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!

December 20, 2013 No Comments

Energy Innovation Roundtable

nrcan - eng

On Dec. 4th I took part in an Energy Innovation Roundtable chaired by Frank Des Rosiers, the Assistant Deputy Minister for Natural Resources Canada.  When I first read the discussion paper prior to the meeting I got the impression that the whole exercise was being implemented with the outcome already in mind, namely to justify further investment into Canada’s growing oil and gas industries.  The fact that the conference was only 4 hours long further added to my skepticism that we would accomplish anything of value.  Thankfully, the conversation during the conference was focused on energy efficiency in the built environment (homes and buildings) and a lot of good, low cost ideas came forward which could have a big impact if implemented.

I was impressed with the level of expertise of all the participants, as well as the Chair’s ability to focus the conversation to the specific issues that were within their mandate to influence.  The main recommendations which came forward centered on ways to educate consumers about energy efficiency.  Suggestions included requiring mandatory energy labeling of all homes sold in Canada, marketing programs and technologies using clear language that’s easy to understand, and using the Government’s leverage to foster green mortgages and other innovative financing mechanisms for energy efficiency, for example by creating tools that explicitly link energy efficiency to cash savings which can be put towards higher mortgage payments.

Time will tell if the Conservative government will act on any of these recommendations, but I was pleased that they at least asked the questions and gathered the information necessary to enact positive change.

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