Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing up to $4.5 million through the Clean Home Heating Initiative to bring hybrid heating to up to 1,000 households in St. Catharines, London, Peterborough, and Sault Ste. Marie. The Clean Home Heating Initiative will support the installation of electric heat pumps with smart controls by providing incentives of up to $4,500.
The program will build capacity in the skilled trades, including the province’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, and local Ontario-based suppliers and build market capacity to offer clean heating options with new development.
“Switching to hybrid heating could save homeowners up to $80 dollars every year on energy bills – an annual savings that would increase over time – and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 per cent,” said Todd Smith, minister of energy. “Investing in these types of transformative energy models is how we are building a pathway to a clean energy future that will protect the environment and keep costs down, all while creating new high-quality jobs across the province.”
The Clean Home Heating Initiative, in collaboration with Enbridge, will allow households to leverage Ontario’s world-class clean electricity grid, which is more than 90 per cent emissions free. Electric heat pumps replace existing air conditioners in the summer but can also operate in reverse in cooler seasons to provide home heating.
With the addition of smart controls, a hybrid heating system automatically switches to a home’s existing natural gas furnace depending on weather and which source is least expensive.
“The Clean Home Heating Initiative is a great opportunity for homeowners to do their part to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy conservation, and address the impacts of climate change,” said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik.
“A hybrid heating system can reduce a home’s greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 percent a year while increasing the flexibility and reliability of its heating system,” says Sarah Van Der Paelt, Director of Marketing and Energy Conservation at Enbridge Gas. “We appreciate the support from the Provincial Government, the four participating cities and the electricity sector for supporting this program and its ongoing commitment to energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures. Together, we are working towards a cleaner energy future.”
The Clean Home Heating Initiative is being offered in select northern and southern communities that represent a diverse geographic spread that will provide the opportunity to test the hybrid heating system in a range of climates.
Residents in St. Catharines, London, Peterborough, and Sault Ste. Marie interested in participating in the Clean Home Heating Initiative can visit Enbridge’s website to learn more.
Installation of hybrid heat pumps in 1,000 new homes through the Clean Home Heating Initiative, combined with the existing 100 homes from Enbridge and London Hydro’s 2021 Hybrid Heating pilot program, could reduce approximately 1,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.