London, ON — London Hydro and Enbridge Gas are collaborating on a two-year pilot project that will determine how well a residential hybrid heating system can help carbon reduction. Eligible customers who participate in the program will receive rebates of $3,200.
“Hybrid heating systems can reduce a home’s greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 per cent while increasing the flexibility and fuel cost resiliency of its heating system,” said Sarah Van Der Paelt, director of marketing and energy conservation at Enbridge Gas.
The pilot will specifically study how effectively electric air-source heat pumps, combined with homeowners’ existing high-efficiency gas furnaces, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease energy consumption. The project hopes to replace about 100 existing air conditioners with ducted air-source heat pumps integrated with smart controls to create a hybrid heating solution.
To participate, customers must own a home in London, Ont, be a residential customer of both Enbridge Gas and London Hydro, on time-of-use electricity rates for the duration of the pilot heat their home with a condensing natural gas furnace, have a central air conditioner in need of replacement, and have Wi-Fi for the smart controls to access. Participants will then complete surveys on the hybrid heating system performance throughout the two years.
Enbridge Gas collaborated with the City of London and its electricity distributor London Hydro, due to the fact that in 2019 the city declared a climate emergency for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening the city’s commitment to protecting our economy, our ecosystems, and our community from climate change.
“The best thing about the pilot is the leading-edge technology that homeowners will be testing,” says Octavian Ghiricociu, a technology advisor with the Enbridge Gas energy conservation and marketing team.
The concept for the pilot program began in 2020. By August 2021, the team started marketing the pilot to homeowners through manufacturers’ HVAC contractor base. The pilot will run until August 2023.