community energy services

Fluent loves all things energy and sees great potential in the development of other local energy services
1. Community Energy Services:
To build climate resilience, the future requires understanding energy and how to generate and use it sustainably. Secondly we need to understand the basics of carbon pollution so we can build energy systems that minimize carbon emissions.  As Elon Musk says, "...If we can advance the knowledge of the world...if we can expand the scope and scale of consciousness, then we are better able to ask the right questions and become more enlightened. And that's really the only way forward."  Right now we have a problem with how we procure energy and understand the associated carbon pollution.  Developing fluency in both energy and carbon will help us understand how to develop safe energy sources that are sustainable and thus financially sound.  We can move forward and solve the vast climate issues we are facing. It is a great opportunity for people of all political stripes to rally around a common issue that unites us all. It is also the way to grow financially robust and truly sustainable development initiatives.
Fluent is keen to build on the global trend of distributed energy that is exploding now.  Being 'distributed' simply means we develop more energy onsite - more in line with 'net zero' theory - that is we create the power that we use onsite, rather than depend on a single large far away power source (i.e., powerplant).  To be clear, that does not mean we do not need big utilities (like BC Hydro) - we do need them.  We are very fortunate in BC to have a provincially-owned utility for two reasons. BC Hydro has a net metering program which means our citizen-owned utility will buy your solar energy from you (up to a point) so that is great for us. Note that many states in the US don't yet have a net-metering program, but more are joining all the time.  Secondly, as BC Hydro modernizes (to be in line with global trends) the focus will be to shift from power generation to power distribution.  This is because making 'big' power facilities has become very expensive and risky on social, environmental and financial levels.  BC Hydro will take advantage of its backbone of existing hydro operations, but ultimately progressive policy will internalize distributed power because it is cost effective to do so, and arguably more democratic to allow people to generate their own power.  We are now witnessing that large hydro (which was once more 'affordable') has become much more expensive power to produce). For example, new 2018 wind power contracts in Alberta cost only $37/MWh compared to the large hydro project being built in Northern BC right now which is currently estimated at $120/MWh...and increasing due to numerous complex cultural, environmental, geotechnical and financial liabilities. Taxpayers are pay for these high rates..so we have to ask ourselves - can we do things more affordably?
Distributed Power - the Future
Using more 'distributed power' means looking at opportunities in the local community to fill this gap.  This means that we live and operate more locally with our footprint and start to look at what our community can do.  This produces a number of synergistic benefits for local residents and communities.  The BC Building Code requires that all new houses be 'net-zero' by 2032.  By developing distributed energy resources, we are not only living with a net zero philosophy of generate what you need on-site, but we are also helping get the community housing in line with a future mandatory code requirements.   High performance housing is thus deeply entwined and critical element to acheiving success in the distributed energy model.  Making the home carbon-smart keeps us in line with out national GHG reduction targets outlined in the Paris agreement.
Energy - where the Community Fits in
There are many great energy projects that would benefit the local community.   In Cumberland for instance, we can take advantage of the green business culture proposed for the Bevan Road Industrial lands (Eco-industrial Campus). Initiatives build resilience in the face of extreme weather events and climate change.   In the case of residential or utility solar, this builds resilience in the face of extreme weather events and related outages and helps stabilizes power bills and develops local pride of ownership in community power.  It also works very well in a province where there is a local power utility, like BC Hydro, that will be buy our power through a net metering program.  We are keen to partner with other motivated citizens or organizations to support the development of these types of resources:
  • While Fluent's primary initial goal will be helping builders and homeowners develop sustainable high performance houses, other initiatives are planned. Fluent will be talking to the community over the next year to see about project opportunities and we will be including discussion on community renewable energy projects to build positive momentum towards the world we want to live in.  We can help show people just how many amazing things are happening in the world right now.  Many of these right in our own national or regional backyard.  
  • Project Manager or research agent to work with community groups and support green energy developments.
  • I have ideas about community energy procurement such as increasing residential solar and the policies to support it.
  • I have ideas about community energy procurement such as increasing community/utility solar.  We would speak with local FN for partnerships and mutual benefits.  We could help stabilize our future power rates.  The good news is there are other successful models of community solar in BC (e.g., Kimberley and Nelson, among other locations) that we could speak to as mentoring communities.  We have great land for it.
  • Solar intiatives for income generation.
  • Looking at BC Energy Step Code integration with local Social Procurement Policies. This will drive many benefits including innovation, elevate the quality of housing stock, lowering power needs by improving efficiency in a growing community, and decrease GHGs done right.  
  • Work on Village Building policy to be in line with the Vancouver Building Code which is considering one of the best innovating building codes in North America in terms of addressing climate change.
  • Looking at virtual grid opportunities.
  • Looking at the Vancouver Economic Commission's latest trends and the related opportunities for a number of local products we could produce to support the explosion of the high performance housing sector expected to be a dominant force as quickly as 2022.
  • Looking at agricultural photovoltaic pilot studies to start generating income for farmers.
  • These are just some of the ideas where we have scratched the surface.
  • Please reach out and tell me about some of your ideas! Coffee (or tea) is on me.
man and pannels

Utility scale solar project.

 
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Roxulboard (mineral wool) external insulation over

air barrier building wrap

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Zehnder Q450 Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) 

2. Materials and Systems Optimization Service (MSOS)
Providing Carbon-Smart Materials and Energy Efficient Mechanical Systems Options
"Your home resale value may be at risk.  Did you know all new homes in BC will be required to be Step 5 (up to 80% more efficient than a code-built house) and net zero-ready by 2032! Use the MSOS to mitigate this financial risk and build a forward-thinking home that will meet or exceed 2032 code requirements"
FUTUREPROOF? If your home is not energy efficient, carbon-smart and built to a high Energy Step Code, your future home resale value is at risk.  In fact, you could get caught with a new home that is out of date in as little as 3 years (when Step 3 becomes mandatory).  Want to futureproof your home and maximize resale value in a future where systems generating carbon pollution will be vulnerable to increasing taxation?  Consider using the MSOS for your new home and protect your resale value!
 
MATERIALS & MECHANICAL SYSTEMS OPTIONS? Are you a builder or a homeowner motivated to use energy efficient materials and reduce your GHG emissions in your building materials? Can't decide what healthy materials to use for your home build?  Can't decide which type of heating, cooling or mechanical systems to use to make your house carbon-smart?  Fluent is here to help provide options.
The MSOS is a customized Fluent Energy Consulting service that builds on the Construction Upgrade Service. The MSOS provides carbon-smart materials and energy efficient mechanical systems options. This service offers the client a deeper dive into materials options for key high performance house components. Materials not only promote energy efficiency, but are also carbon-smart, and have recent examples of historical use by industry. The MSOS is described as follows:
  • This is a service for those builders and homeowners that want affordable high performance materials for their house that are proven in comfort, health and durability, and are carbon-smart to reduce their "upfront" carbon.  Note: A material's "upfront" carbon is the carbon used to produce and deliver a material (e.g., insulation) to the construction site.  Note that 'Operational' carbon is that which is used by household mechanical systems (e.g., the heating/cooling system) during the operation of the house. Operational carbon is not addressed by this service.
  • Recommendations based on big picture data from a number of carbon-smart materials palette sources emerging in the marketplace.
  • Incorporates some of the knowledge attained through the Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) provincial workshops.  Incorporates preferential building assembly components and materials that are local and readily available material supplies.
  • Incorporates ongoing local costing analysis in order to seek out best value local high performance material supplies.
  • NEW OR EXISTING HOUSE SERVICE?  New or existing.
  • FOR HOMEOWNER OR BUILDER?  Homeowner or Builder  
  • Cost:  Different packages exist based on the number of options required.  Competitive local market rates. Loyalty discounts available for Builders with ongoing needs.  Please call for rates.
  • Rebates available?  There are no rebates for this service; however, Fluent will include energy efficient mechanical system options that have provincial (CleanBC) or regional rebates available.  For a on overview of provincial and regional rebates available, see Rebates and Incentives.