Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency / Volume 4, Issue 3
Paying only $28 per year in heating costs sounds too good to be true, but it has become reality in an Ottawa neighbourhood. A recently opened affordable housing complex is expected to be the first of its kind in North America to be Passive House certified.
The four-storey, 42-unit residence, built by Ottawa Salus, a charitable organization, offers housing for adults with severe mental illness. It was designed with strict environmental and cost-saving goals in mind, and it is estimated that the apartment building will be up to 90 percent more efficient than regular buildings. Ottawa Salus anticipates that the yearly energy consumption from the apartment building will be the same as that associated with a single family dwelling.
Ma’ikwe Schaub Ludwig is the Executive Director of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, the pioneering sustainability educator who heads up Ecovillage Education US, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship for Intentional Community. She believes strongly that sustainability is possible, assuming we can learn to cooperate, share and assess what really makes us happy, rather than staying bought in to the material excess culture we’ve been raised in.
Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 18 November 2016
Brockville should not hire an “embedded energy manager,” but it can still save money on energy by monitoring consumption better, say consultants hired by city hall to look into the matter.
A report by the consulting firm Energy Performance Services (EPS) suggests the city spend more than $83,000 to upgrade monitoring at the water and sewer plants, adding this would eventually yield more than $32,000 in annual energy savings.
City officials will decide next year whether to follow through on the recommendation.
I must admit that our transition away from fossil fuels isn’t complete. Much of what we buy — including a great deal of our food and even the energy-saving equipment we’ve installed in our home — is produced and shipped using fossil fuel energy. We can and will take further steps to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, but life altogether independent of them may not be possible in our economy without full withdrawal from it and a return to the kind of lifestyle that existed before the Industrial Revolution. Lee and I are incredibly pleased, though, with what we’ve accomplished. Reducing our carbon footprint has been a major emotional boost for us. We value knowing that our home is powered by solar energy that we, ourselves, collect, and that the good Earth shares its heat in winter and accepts our heat in summer by way of our geothermal system. Many people in our community have visited our home to check out our systems and ask us questions as they get started taking steps to cut their own carbon footprints. It’s immensely gratifying to be that example for others.
Ministry of Economic Development and Growth / 08 November 2016
Ontario is launching a new program to help small- and medium-sized businesses reduce emissions and become more energy efficient.
The SMART Green program, a partnership between the government and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), is designed to assist businesses to invest in equipment and process upgrades including high-efficiency ovens, dryers, kilns and furnaces.
Upgrades will improve the competitiveness of Ontario’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers, help to reduce their energy consumption, save them money, and help Ontario meet its targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction.
Globe and Mail / Adrian Morrow, Greg Keenan / 16 May 2016
The Ontario government will spend more than $7-billion over four years on a sweeping climate change plan that will affect every aspect of life – from what people drive to how they heat their homes and workplaces – in a bid to slash the province’s carbon footprint.
Ontario will begin phasing out natural gas for heating, provide incentives to retrofit buildings and give rebates to drivers who buy electric vehicles. It will also require that gasoline sold in the province contain less carbon, bring in building code rules requiring all new homes by 2030 to be heated with electricity or geothermal systems, and set a target for 12 per cent of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2025.
The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark