Energy Minister announces hybrid heating project for St. Catharines homes

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Published September 27, 2022 at 3:12 pm

As Sarah Van Der Paelt from Enbridge Gas, left, and St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, right, looks on, Energy Minister Todd Smith announces a new hybrid heating program that could save money for local homeowners. (Photo: Twitter)

St. Catharines is one of four Ontario communities that was chosen to test the Ontario Government’s new hybrid heating system.

Energy Minister Todd Smith was in the Garden City today (September 27) to make the official announcement that through the province’s Clean Home Heating Initiative, Ontario was sinking $4.5 million into bringing hybrid heating to 1,000 households in St. Catharines, London, Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie.

Smith said the Clean Home Heating Initiative will support the installation of electric heat pumps with smart controls by providing homeowners with incentives of up to $4,500, adding that switching to hybrid heating could save homeowners up to $80 dollars every year on energy bills with annual savings to increase over time.

He says it’ll also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 per cent.

“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,” said Smith.

The Clean Home Heating Initiative, in collaboration with Enbridge Gas (which supplies St. Catharines), 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. Using 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 at the news conference.

“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.

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