Green Home Heating in the GTHA

Raising Awareness for Heat Pump Deployment in GTHA and Ontario Single-family Homes

 Home energy retrofits are urgently needed on a massive scale to meet the ambitious carbon reduction targets being formulated by municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Towards this end, air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) are a key retrofit technology capable of replacing or offsetting conventional carbon-intensive home heating systems.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, The Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) is leading a communications campaign to support the deployment of ASHPs in existing homes within the GTHA. Primary funding for this initiative is being provided by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) with additional base funding support from The City of Toronto, Region of Peel, and York Region. Additional project partners include Enbridge, Durham Region, The Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), The Clean Air Partnership (CAP), Windfall Ecology Centre, Imperial Energy, and the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Action Program (SNAP).

The initiative consists of three stages. In the first stage the STEP team will create cases studies of actual GTHA ASHP home retrofits from early adopters of the technology. The case studies will analyze pre- and post-retrofit utility bill data to calculate the energy savings, cost savings, and carbon reductions, as well as the overall business case for ASHPs. They will also document the homeowners experience with the retrofit process and use of their ASHP. STEP will also analyze similar data from 100-home ASHP pilot commenced by Enbridge in London in Summer 2021. In the second stage, the case study and Enbridge pilot data will inform the creation of summary graphics, guidance documents, and decision support tools to help homeowners on their ASHP home retrofit journey. The final stage will seek to broadly communicate the outputs to homeowners, contractors, energy advisors, and government decision-makers.

The information provided in the communications campaign will show that there are a variety of ASHPs to meet the needs of different homeowners, including both low-cost options and high-performance options, and seek to demonstrate homeowner satisfaction with ASHPs.