Submitted by Bruce Peninsula
The Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association’s (BPBA) Climate Action Hub is working to educate residents on the benefits of heat pump installation in their homes. It’s a movement that in Canada has doubled the number of heat pumps since 2000, with well over 700,000 installed. Ontario has led the trend: With over 350,000 heat pumps, it has more than any other province.
A heat pump is a high-efficiency system that acts as a heater in cold weather and an air conditioner in warm weather. (To learn more about how heat pumps work, visit bpba.ca/projects/climate-action/energy-efficiency.) It replaces traditional heating systems, including propane, oil, and baseboard electric. Not only do heat pumps reduce greenhouse gas emissions — by 85-90% over propane and up to 55% over baseboard electric heaters — they can easily cut annual heating costs in half.
A survey conducted by the BPBA this past spring found that 23% of respondents were considering upgrading or replacing their heating systems in the next five years. When asked what would drive them to consider a heat pump as their upgrade, respondents said the savings in heat costs, the reduction in emissions, and over two-thirds cited the cash rebate currently offered by the federal government under the Greener Homes Initiative.
The Initiative offers up to $5,600 in grants for energy efficient retrofits and home energy audits. The audit gives homeowners an idea of where they can improve efficiency, whether it means better insulation, upgrading windows and doors, replacing inefficient appliances, or switching to a heat pump for heating and cooling. The BPBA is looking to bring an auditor to the Peninsula to conduct as many of these audits as possible. If you’re interested in a home audit for your primary residence, contact [email protected]
Ontario produces about a quarter of national greenhouse gas emissions, and per capita, Ontarians produce almost twice the global average. The grant provides an opportunity for Peninsula residents to save money while taking steps to reduce their own emissions, and with 70% of survey respondents agreeing that Canadians are already feeling the negative effects of global warming, there has never been a better time to get on board.