Gordon Howell

This is Gordon Howell (www.hme.ca). He is Alberta's (Canada's!) leading guru on solar electricity.  He is my first choice for a series that I'm writing on Edmonton's Green Leaders. 

Gordon has been working tirelessly on the issue of solar electricity (among other solar-related topics) for as long as I've been paying attention. He lectures often in the city, and his talks are always full of topical, relevant information. The man is thorough, too. His information is always very accurate.

Gordon is a key member of the Riverdal NetZero Project, and he has worked on my own Mill Creek NetZero Home.

If you're interested in learning more about how to live greener in Edmonton, I highly recommend going to one of Gordon's talks. Better yet, email him (ghowell [at] hme [dot] ca) and find out when he'll next be teaching his multi-day solar energy course.

Like many of the true leaders in our city, Gordon has contributed countless unpaid hours. He has added tremendously to the public knowledge and discourse regarding solar energy. I for one am very grateful for his contribution.

To learn about renewable energy applications in our city and province, visit Gordon's website today.

Pipe Insulation


I spent the afternoon putting pipe insulation on the hot water pipes in the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH). I can’t believe how cheap the insulation was – around $100 for the whole house. Its price and the ease with which it is installed make it a must, in my opinion, for those interested in energy efficiency. Anyone can install this stuff, and the insulation is so useful because it just sits and works, saving you energy every single day and never breaking.  read more... »

You Want the Cold? You Can't Handle the Cold!



I took this picture from my kitchen window one morning last month. The trick is to look at the little numbers on the inside. That’s right, –30 degrees Celsius. It gets cold in our beloved river city.

You’re a Hawaiian in an Edmontonian’s body though, right? An island-dweller stuck on the frozen tundra of Alberta. If only nature would understand your needs. Oh well, the only thing to do is hunker down and stay inside for six months a year except for that dash to your idling car. That’s why our merciful Creator invented remote car starters, isn’t it?  read more... »

Buy Energy Efficient Stuff

When we need to "consume", we should be buying stuff that uses as little water and electricity as possible. Comparing the different products for these attributes can be difficult. Here are the best resources:

Searchable Canadian Government Energy Efficiency Ratings of all available:

The (user-unfriendly) master page is here. I always have trouble finding these databases, so I thought that I would post them here for easy reference. After you've run your initial search, click on "Energuide Rating (kWh/year)" twice. This will order the appliances by the smallest consumption first.

For cars, if you simply must buy one, refer to the U.S. Government's Fuel Economy comparison website.