With very little money in the bank and an old church they could no longer afford to heat, the Westmount Presbyterian Church was on the brink of failure. Then, they hatched a plan to build Canada’s first net-zero church and social housing project.
Alberta secured the lowest price for wind energy in Canadian history and built the first utility scale solar farm in Western Canada in 2017 a banner year for Green Energy in Alberta.
When Ron Kube discovered his home was using nearly twice as much energy as the average home the energy detective was born. We can all learn from Ron’s journey that led to him reducing electricity use in his home by more than half–through measures so simple they are clichés.
Producing your own solar electricity, it’s a cool idea right? But when is the right time to go solar? We talk to Ron Kube, who installed solar on his home and Clifton Lofthaug of Great Canadian Solar about everything you need to know before going solar.
Edmonton is getting set to host the first international conference on Cities and Climate Change Science. We talk to Seth Schultz from C40 about Edmonton, climate change and the action thats required. Schultz is an organizer and director with a global organization of 90 megacities helping mayors and cities taken action on climate change.
SMART HOMES PART 2 – Have you ever dreamed of living in a net-zero home? According to Peter Darlington, that dream may be closer than you think. In fact, you might already be living in your future net-zero home. We present Peter’s four steps to making your home net-zero.
SMART HOMES PART 1 – Is your water heater kaput? Want to discover the best option for high efficiency water heaters? Look no further! We check out tankless, electric heat pump and power vented conventional high efficiency water heaters. Is one of them right for you? Read on and find out.
The new Londonderry Simons in Edmonton, Alberta has a 636 kilowatt solar system, the largest in the city and three solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations including one level three charger capable of charging EVs in under 30 minutes.
Solar powered football – the Philadelphia NFL Eagles have 11,000 solar modules, fly on 100 per cent renewable energy, divert 99 per cent of waste and recycle everything else.
Gordon Howell is a solar pioneer, the first to install a grid-connected solar system on his home in Western Canada. Today Gordon finds himself at the hub of a community of people involved in a veritable solar revolution.
Life is a carnival! Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival started in Edmonton, Alberta. It’s a biodiesel powered full scale carnival infused with a message of sustainability.
We talk to Sonja Winkelmann of the Canadian Home Builders Association about a new Net-Zero Home labelling program designed to help consumers and builders understand and embrace super energy efficient, net-zero homes.
Brazeau County may be in the heart of Alberta’s oil and gas country in Alberta, but the county is diversifying into clean energy by putting solar on most of the country buildings.
Brian Scott and Leigh Bond want to see Property Assessed Clean Energy financing come to Alberta. They say PACE has generated $3.4 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the U.S. and that little else would do more to spur on a boom in Alberta.
Vulcan, Alberta, the Star Trek Capital of Canada, has built the countries first aesthetically-minded solar park. Residents and visitors alike can now soak in rays alongside a visually pleasing solar resource.
The 1.14 megawatt solar system on the roof of the Leduc Recreation Centre is the largest of its kind in Canada and accounts for fully 10 per cent of Alberta’s total solar capacity.
Alberta students present a white paper on Climate Leadership in Alberta Schools to the ministers of education and environment calling for climate change to be added to the curriculum and schools to become models of sustainability.
On the roof of the Two Twenty building in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are 90 solar modules comprising a 27.5 kilowatt solar system, the very first project built by the newly-formed SES Solar Co-operative, an offshoot of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. This week, it’s power to the people on Green Energy Futures.
Bob Chelmick is a former CBC news anchor who built his storied solar-powered “Cabin in the Woods” and started the ground-breaking radio series entitled: The Road Home. We visit the home of solar-powered radio this week on Green Energy Futures.
More than 4,000 people have signed Iron and Earth’s pledge calling for renewable energy training for out-of-work oil workers and already 450 workers have said they want training.
Prince Edward Island, Canada (PEI) is home of the highest proportion of wind power in North America. We talk to Energy Minister Paula Biggar about how this little province replaced expensive diesel power with enough wind power to provide 26 per cent of the electricity in PEI.
When people think Calgary, renewable energy doesn’t usually come to mind. But dig a little deeper and it seems the oil capital of Canada is more ready for a carbon tax than many jurisdiction, thanks to investments in renewable energy the city is in a great position to save money.
This past March, students from around Alberta and beyond collaborated on a white paper that seeks to influence the future of climate change education in the province.
We visit what will be the first certified passive house in Saskatchewan, Canada. This is somewhat ironic, because the first concept passive house ever was built in Saskatchewan in the 1970s by passive house pioneer Harold Orr. Meet Harold and see this amazing home!
How does a passive solar heated Earthship fare in the long cold Canadian winter. This week we return to a familiar place, the Kinney Family Earthship, to see how it holds up in the middle of a cold Canadian prairie winter.
Aren’t we too far north for solar? I’ve heard solar doesn’t work in the cold. And aren’t solar modules only 15 per cent efficient? This week take an illuminating look at some pesky solar myths and help you sort myths from facts.
2015 will go down as the year that marked the dawning of the age of the net-zero home. We took notice by preparing our four-part Chasing Net-Zero series. And we we just loved the story about Jason Rioux’s shipping container cabin, as did almost 200,000 viewers! Here are some of our favourites from 2015.
2015 was a banner year for clean, green energy! Vancouver pledged to go 100 per cent renewable energy, the Cowessess First Nation built a wind turbine and is testing energy storage, Edmonton passed an energy transition plan and Rachael Notley the new premier of Alberta announced a plan to phase out coal and greatly expand renewable energy.
Kimberley B.C. installed the largest solar tracking solar PV system in western Canada and it’s all part of the reinvention of a mining town as tourism City and developer of clean renewable energy.
You could call it Sustainability High – since 2002 students in the Sustainable Development Committee at Cochrane High School in Alberta have raised almost $150,000 and build more than half a dozen solar, energy efficiency and green projects around their school.
112. Welcome to the Octopod: An off-grid, solar powered shipping container cabin in Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Shipping container architecture has become more and more popular over the years. We check out an off-grid solar powered sea contaner cabin called the Octopod, located near Bobcaygeon, Ontario.
Ontario’s energy transition — shutting down coal and ramping up renewables — is the most successful greenhouse gas reduction project in Canada’s history.
Feed-in tariffs have transformed renewable energy markets around the world. Now the mountain town of Banff is the first municipality in Canada to institute this important piece of renewable energy supporting policy.
What happens when you sell unserviced lots for a dollar and get people to build green homes on the edge of a small Saskatchewan town? We find out.
Germany, Europe’s largest, most successful economy, is successfully and aggressively transitioning away from fossil fuels and nuclear. We debunk some of the myths that have sprung up around this incredible transition.
We spend a lot of money and burn a lot of carbon keeping our homes and buildings warm. Solar air heating is a simple, effective and accessible technology that could help Canada reduce its heating bills.
Welcome to Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal energy plant in sunny Medicine Hat, Alberta. Discover how “The Gas City” is adding solar and wind to diversify it’s electricity supply in a city endowed with rich fossil fuel resources.
Echohaven is a different kind of suburban development. It preserves natural landscapes, mandates energy efficient homes and guarantees solar access.
Solar energy may only make up 0.03 per cent of Alberta’s electrical generation capacity. We make the case that solar is a growth opportunity in Canada’s only deregulated electricity market.
Landmark Homes is planning to have all of their homes be net-zero by 2015. Learn how net-zero is transitioning from small custom home builders to large scale companies.
In 10 years net-zero homes have gone from government pilot project to mass production. Shafraaz Kaba’s near net-zero home is an excellent example of how we got there.
We look at making energy efficient, infill homes that are beautiful and also at how the location of your home can have a dramatic effect on your energy footprint.
The first episode of our four-part series Chasing Net-Zero. We dive into the history of net-zero homes and figure out you can build one of these comfortable, beautiful homes that also doubles as a mini-powerplant.
A passive solar greenhouse in Invermere B.C. is making people across the continent sit up and takes notice. It may sound ironic, but most greenhouses are not designed to harvest and retain the sun’s energy.
We head to Starland County, Alberta where some very innovative farmers are working with Bullfrog Builds and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre to build solar that pays for itself in 10-13 years.
Community scale renewable solar is cheap and requires very little maintenance. Learn how two communities in Alberta built successful community solar energy programs.
Passive solar energy and its running buddy thermal mass give you the opportunity to get a significant portion of your home’s heat for free from the sun.
Renewable energy produces energy when the sun shines and the wind blows, but these entrepreneurs are developing better batteries and new and innovative ways of capturing and storing renewable energy.
Soon solar will be so cheap it won’t make sense not to have it on your house, office building or spare building facing south. The price of solar has dropped one hundred times in the past 35 years, that’s not a typo. Learn what’s driving the low cost of solar and where and when you’ll start seeing it in the near term this week at Green Energy Futures.
Ever looked at the breakdown of your electricity bill with all of its transmission and distribution charges and wondered if there was a better way? There is and it’s called distributed generation. Learn about it this week at Green Energy Futures.
The T’Souke First Nation on Vancouver Island developed and implemented a plan that slashed 75 per cent of their energy use and installed solar PV to provide clean power. It turns out it’s a lot easier to go net-zero when you drastically cut your energy use.
This four-story, 60,000 square feet structure is practically a living thing. It’s a $37-million laboratory that aims to achieve LEED Platinum status, but more than that, they’re also pursuing a Living Building Challenge certification. This certification is so hard to get, there are only three certified living buildings in the world.
Join us as we dive into our archives and give you our favourite clips and behind the scenes moments from 2012. From nearly falling into the Bay of Fundy to angry anti-wind protesters we go coast to coast to coast to give you best.
Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia switched from fuel oil boilers to biomass, then added solar thermal modules to their dorms and even installed two wind turbines and are saving money on operating costs!
Some provinces have all of the luck. While poor PEI has little more than potatoes and tourists Alberta gets not only the lions share of Canada’s coal, oil, gas and bitumen, it gets the best solar resource in all of Canada too. We learned this by talking to Alberta’ solar industry veterans, experts from Ontario and even the minister of environment for Alberta, Diana McQueen at CANSIA West.
If I told you you could almost double the amount of money you got from the solar energy you put on the grid would that make you more likely to get a rooftop solar system? Spark and several other small electricity retailers are betting that you will. Is this the final push that gets solar over the hump in Alberta?
We take a tour of the Canadian Solar plant in Mississauga, Ontario. In 2011, the solar manufacturing industry in Canada was responsible employing over 2,100 people $584 million of economic output.
“We can take a commercial roof that was previously wasted space and turn it into a generation asset which is producing clean, safe, renewable energy,” says SolarShare president Mike Brigham.
Not only that but investors get to finance these projects through solar bonds and see a healthy financial return without creating a toxic legacy.
The German style feed-in tariff that Ontario implemented in 2009 has made Ontario a North American leader in renewable energy. Learn how they did and why other provinces need to follow the lead of Ontario.
Cheryl Shuman, a city councillor with the city of Dawson Creek in northeastern British Columbia considers herself a turbine hugger, not a tree hugger. She was part of the Peace Energy Co-operative a local grassroots group that developed the Bear Mountain Wind Park.
Les Wold is a part of this second wave of net-zero home builders. At 38-years-old he’s a managing partner with Effect Homes, an Edmonton based homebuilder that currently builds about 10 houses a year.
Learn about how these new kinds of homes are getting built and the simple design cues you can take even if you don’t put solar panels on your roof.
Have you ever wanted to get solar panels on your house but were scared of the costs, time and effort it would take? Enmax, a Calgary based utility, has simplified the process for homeowners with their Generate Choice program. Simply sign up and if you qualify Enmax will handle the installation, permitting and maintenance.
Meet the people and families that have taken the solar energy plunge.
NAIT’s Alternative Energy Program is helping meet the increasing demand for professionals to design, build, install and maintain green energy systems. A two-year program, it teaches students the intricacies of solar, wind, geothermal and even fuel cell systems.
Meet the students and instructors who are helping to create the next generation of skilled green energy workers.
Author Chris Turner is an inspiration. As a writer he has focused on real world examples of people, places and programs where the future is already here. Things like self-sufficient islands in Denmark, Germany’s renewable energy metamorphosis and the surprising results of Spain’s commitment to high-speed rail.
We speak with Chris about the three leaps we need to take to replace non-renewable energy with renewable energy in the next 50 years.
The award winning Hat Smart program in Medicine Hat, Alberta provides incentives and rebates for renewable energy and energy efficiency and has really captured the imagination of residents of this Southern Alberta City of 61,000 people. In this week’s episode Alderman Ted Clugston explains how success depends on a sexy program, a solar powered dentist shows his stuff and a home builder explains how building an EnerGuide 89 geothermal heated home is helping him build better, greener homes.