Energy Doors open deemed a success

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By Michelle Nash Baker, Ottawa Community News

The city’s residents had a bit of an electric buzz about them during this year’s Energy Doors Open event.

The Green Energy Doors Open was held across the city and region from Sept. 9 through to Sept. 11. According to the organizers, more than 1000 people coming through the doors of the Energy Showcase and some of the host sits reported as many as 200 visitors stopping by.

Organized by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the second annual weekend-long event is aimed at showcasing green energy initiatives and technology to help every day people make energy efficient choices.

A year-round communications campaign by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the province-wide event is held every year in the fall to showcase individual, community and commercial sustainable energy projects.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko said the weekend-long event went really well, including a boat cruise along the Rideau Canal the councillor held on Sept. 10.

“I’ve made a point of having capital ward walks and they are ways of inviting residents to come out and see something and talk about it,” Chernushenko said.

“Sometimes it can be a celebration, sometimes it can be about how we can fix it.

"But I’ve never had a boat ride. And with the canal running right through my ward, I wanted to do that and thought it would make a great innovative way to meet with residents for my next series. And it went really well.”

Chernushenko added residents had an opportunity to learn about green energy while on an electric boat as well as have the opportunity to talk about issues concerning the neighbourhoods on both sides of the canal.

Ottawa celebrated it’s sophomore year and this year the event’s main showcase took place in the Glebe, at Lansdowne Park in the Horticulture Building and featured sustainable energy businesses and products from the region as well as offer people a chance check out electric vehicles and meet their owners.

Green day: Ottawa builders and researchers showcase energy-efficient projects

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An Urbandale/Carleton U test house for energy efficiency. BRUNO SCHLUMBERGER

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

Architect Mark Rosen is hoping that hundreds of strangers will tromp through his beautiful new “passive urban” house this weekend.

The “Wander House,” designed by Rosen for an infill lot on Bayswater Drive, was completed only a few days ago. It’s one of the buildings open to the public this weekend in the Ottawa Green Energy Doors Open.

The 1,600-square-foot house, which Rosen of PLOTNOTPLOT Architecture shares with his wife Meghan and two daughters, is one of only a handful in Canada built to the international PassivHaus standard. It has super-insulated walls, ceilings and floors, a shallow geo-thermal ground loop, a grey-water-ready plumbing system, a high-efficiency ventilation system and a heat pump water tank.

“We wanted to really share the knowledge and the experience of building the home,” says Rosen. “We wanted to show it’s not just a fancy science project. It’s also a very beautiful house.”

The houses uses 85 per cent less energy for heating than a standard new house. Passive solar heat and recovering heat that would otherwise escape plays a role in keeping it warm in winter. After all of the technologies and building techniques are taken into account, it will take an electric heater about the size of two toaster ovens to heat the house on even the coldest nights. Living in the Wander House is what heats it, says Rosen.

Ottawa Green Energy Doors Open will showcase almost 30 other buildings, projects and exhibitions including Net Zero and homes all over Ottawa and as far away as Merrickville, Braeside, Manotick and Chelsea, as well as the Glebe home of Coun. David Chernushenko, who hangs clothes outdoors, uses an on-demand water heater and an electric bike and equipped his house with 19 solar panels.  (For a full list of events and locations, visit www.ottawagedo.org)

Local green energy businesses, homes open doors

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Green Energy Doors Open hosts events across city and region

By Michelle Nash Baker, Ottawa Community News

An event scheduled at Lansdowne Park aims to be the most efficient in history.

The Green Energy Doors Open will be held across the city and region from Sept. 9 through to Sept. 11. Organized by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the second annual weekend-long event is aimed at showcasing green energy initiatives and technology to help every day people make energy efficient choices.

A year-round communications campaign by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the province-wide event is held every year in the fall to showcase individual, community and commercial sustainable energy projects.

Ottawa is celebrating it’s sophomore year and this year the event’s main showcase will take place in the Glebe, at Lansdowne Park in the Horticulture Building, and will feature sustainable energy businesses and products from the region as well as offer people a chance to check out electric vehicles and meet their owners.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko is this year’s honorary chairman of the event and will not only be representing the organization, but also sharing tips to help make greener, more environmentally-friendly choices for operating an energy-efficient home.

“From the outset, they asked me based on my background, they wanted me to be involved,” Chernushenko said.

The councillor is well-known for his green initiatives and goals. On Sept. 11 he will be standing outside his home in Old Ottawa South, handing out flyers and discussing what he and his wife have done to their home to make it more efficient.

“It's not just putting solar panels on your roof – it's about the basics. What can I do to, what efforts can I take to look at ways at tweaking the energy consumption,” he said.

Chernushenko said he tends to stay on top of the time-of-use pricing with the family’s hydro.

“There is no perfect house,” he said. “I’m always looking at ways to make the changes, and little steps.”

The councillor added staying on top of things such as weather stripping, and turning off appliances and small electronics – even the house’s wifi modem – can make the small changes needed to reduce energy consumption.

As for the event, Chernushenko said he is looking forward to the showcase at Lansdowne, which last year was held at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. He thinks that the prime, central location will gain the interest of passersby.

“There might be a lot of accidental stops,” he said, adding people who might not know it’s taking place could in turn learn a few easy, interesting facts and steps about green energy.

Ottawa Green Energy Doors Open will officially begin on Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Energy Showcase where Chernushenko, will share a few words alongside Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

The weekend of events offers a lot of variety and promises a family-friendly atmosphere.

Events across the city include:

  • Energy showcase at Lansdowne Park
  • Electric vehicle exhibition in Aberdeen Square
  • House tours across the city, visit ottawagedo.org/host-locations.html for full list
  • Boat tours on Ottawa Boat Cruises - 100% Electric Boat – Chernushenko is hosting a ward cruise, on the boat for Sept. 10. Spaces are filled, but he said he will be filming the cruise and posting it to his website for those who will be missing out.
  • Business tours including the offices of Robertson Martin Architects, 216 Pretoria Ave., Rimikon LED Lights and Lightenco, 1275 Leeds Ave.
  • A bike tour – starting at Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, 464 Metcalfe Street

A full list of the events can be found at OttawaGEDO.org.

EU-Canada World Cities closing conference in Ottawa

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The closing conference of the EU-Canada component of the EU's highly successful World Cities cooperation project was held in Ottawa on Friday 20 June 2016. The project, which originates in a proposal of the European Parliament, provides for the pairing of city authorities and actors in Europe with their counterparts in, respectively, China, India, Canada and Japan, with the aim of encouraging exchanges of experience and best practice, and the development of joint projects. Participating in the Ottawa event were the Canadian cities of Saanich, Edmonton, Ottawa and Halifax and their EU counterparts, respectively, Almada (PT), Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES), Hannover (DE) and Tallinn (EE).

In his keynote address to the conference, Ronnie Hall, chief advisor in the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy said that urbanization was a global challenge. He drew attention to the role of urban development as a central pillar of the EU's cohesion policy programmes for 2014-2020. "We have put in place a battery of actions to advance the urban agenda in Europe, and our cities have responded enthusiastically. More of the EU's resources will be directly managed by the cities than ever before. The cities also have new opportunities to experiment and to link up with European counterparts. We are in the process of creating a fund of experience which will also contribute to our international relations with cities outside the EU", he said.