energy efficiency

Insulate and Seal

This is Rob Dumont's home (see this pdf file) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was built in 1992, and it still stands as one of Canada's most energy-efficient homes. Rob Dumont was also involved in building the Saskatchewan Conservation House in Regina, in 1977. That was the prototype house that proved that the best building technique for cold climates is to build highly airtight, highly insulated houses.

So, when building a home like the Mill Creek NetZero Energy Home - that is, a cold climate home that produces as much energy over the course of a year as it consumes - the two most important steps to take are to insulate and seal it.  read more... »

The Bulb

Change your light bulbs. Environmentalists and other green types have been begging us to do it for years now. Regular incandescent light bulbs waste 95% of electricity that we throw at them, among other reasons to switch.

Nonetheless, "Incandescents filled 85% of sockets in 2002 compared to less than 2% for Compact Fluorescents" (source).  read more... »

Greenest House in Edmonton

One of the 12 greenest houses in Canada is being built right here in Edmonton.

The Riverdale NetZero Energy Duplex is under construction right now in Edmonton's river valley, as part of CMHC's EQuilibrium Housing Initiative.

A net zero energy house generates all its own heat and electricity on an annual basis. Is this really possible here in Edmonton’s cold northerly climate? Yes!

Visit for more details.  read more... »

Green Your Laundry, Part 1

Alberta's electricity is as dirty as it comes. As an Edmontonian, when you're using power you're almost certainly causing coal to be burned.

Coal is the dirtiest electricity source in terms of poisons (Sulfur Dioxides, Mercury, Nitrous Oxides) and Carbon Dioxide, the most problematic greenhouse gas.

One of the cheapest actions you can take to reduce your impact is to start hang-drying your clothes. Buy a drying rack (or two) like the one pictured above. I got mine at Superstore. The next time it's time to waste a bunch of coal by tossing your wet clothes into the electric dryer, pull out the rack instead and start hanging.  read more... »