Green power / Guides

Rendering of River District Sustainable housing development In Vancouv
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Vancouver developer leads the way to more sustainable communities

...powerful storms? River District is being designed to be a great neighbourhood even during the most challenging times. While the city requires developers to look at the water levels expected during a once in 200 year storm, ParkLane went much further and had a study completed looking at what the projected sea levels w...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

...powered by electricity and not gas would also qualify as electric heat; this is the one exception to the rule of equal efficiency as it is not electric resistance heat, but electricity is powering a condenser and a fan. See our video explanation of how heat pumps work for greater detail. Types of electric resistance ...

Heating an off-grid home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

OFF GRID LIVING BLOG, PART 4: Off-grid heating systems - lessons learned from our off grid home

...power generated, power used, generator run time, battery temperature. These daily reminders tell me how the system is functioning, and I know that if I fail to receive one, that there is a problem with either the power or internet systems. -Increase the amount of solar panels. During the first winter, the generator w...

The Otis mobile tiny house
Tiny house

The Tiny House Movement may have gotten tinier with the arrival of Otis

...Green Mountain College’s Renewable Energy and Ecological Design (REED) class built a custom-designed tiny house, a 96-square-foot structure with a sleeping loft “upstairs” and a 300-watt solar powered electrical system. This semester, his class went one better, constructing a 70 square-foot “living system” that can...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog part 6 - energy modeling projections and real performance

...power was 'wasted' than expected, as excess power cannot be saved if it is not used and the batteries are full. I am putting together a system to use some of that excess power and will write about it once it is up and running. Needless to say, this puts our actual energy usage for the year at 15,200 kWh, much less th...

Tesla Solar Roof shingles
Solar photovoltaic

The Tesla Solar Roof: we love the hype, but we'd like to see some actual facts.

...Powerwall battery to the market there was similar fanfare, yet it didn't come close to meeting the expectations of the brand or even match the performance of existing batteries and shortly afterwards it was quietly discontinued. It has since been replaced by the higher capacity Powerwall 2 . What we like about Tesla'...

Solar thermal collectors

All about solar thermal collectors

...power they generate to heat water with a traditional water heater. This is due to the continually advancing technologies and dropping costs in the photovoltaic industry, while solar thermal collection technology and cost has remained fairly stagnant over the same period. They’re still good, the problem is that the co...

Water efficiency
Plumbing and water heaters

How to save money on your hot water bills!

...power rates so there’s less of a financial incentive than in Ontario or other parts of Canada. You can expect to pay likely in the $7,000 to $10,000 range depending on the size of the system you require. Grey water heat recovery Grey water heat recovery drain pipe © Ecohome Grey water heat recovery is a syste...

Shipping Container Homes in a Warm Climate might be a good option
Tiny house

Beautiful shipping container homes - Tiny Houses in warm climates

...green building techniques here : Affordable modern prefab green homes for cold climates Are shipping container homes good or bad? All about Tiny Houses & Laneway Homes Ontario clarifies building-code for permits for laneway homes & legal Tiny Houses in Toronto Tips for a successful green h...

Solar panel installation
Solar photovoltaic

Ten questions to ask a solar panel contractor

...power from the existing panels. If trackers allow you to get sufficient power from fewer panels, they could justify the extra costs. However, moving parts fail; therefore, your maintenance costs may be higher as well. This is definitely a discussion worth having, and a good reason to ensure that there is a good warrant...

Alex and Jerelyn Wilson's Vermont farm
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Creating a farm and building a resilient lifestyle

...power is lost—is a key tenet of resilient design, and I was very pleased that our house did so well. Though we hope the house to be net-zero-energy in its operation—with space heating, water heating, cooking, and almost everything else, powered by a 12 kW solar-electric system—we can heat the place just fine with our s...