Climate Institute: Heat pumps are lowest-cost option for most households
September 27, 2023 | By HPAC Magazine
A new report examines the cost of heating and cooling options across building types in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax.
According to new research released by the Canadian Climate Institute, heat pumps are already the lowest-cost way for most households across Canada to heat and cool their homes.
The new report, Heat pumps pay off: Unlocking lower cost heating and cooling in Canada, examines the cost of heating and cooling options across building types in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax.
It compares the costs of different heat pump configurations against gas furnaces and air conditioning.
The research finds that heat pumps beat gas furnaces and air conditioners on cost in most cases.
On average, the lifetime cost of a standard heat pump with electric backup is 13% less than a gas furnace with air conditioning.
This is in part driven by the high energy-efficiency of heat pumps, which are up to five times as efficient as gas furnaces.
In addition, those in the market for new heating or cooling appliances can use a new online calculator developed by the Institute to find out the lowest-cost option for their situation.
The calculator provides information that shows how heat pumps stack up against alternatives in each of the five cities modelled—both in terms of costs and emissions impact.
Martin Luymes, vice president of government and stakeholder relations with the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is quoted in a media release for the new research: “This new report and online calculator provide a detailed and very useful picture of how heat pumps compare to other heating and cooling systems across Canada. Installers and manufacturers are well-placed to accelerate uptake so that more households benefit from low-cost heating and cooling that reduces emissions and protects against extreme heat.”
The report includes policy recommendations targeting barriers that are holding households back from installing a heat pump and requiring non-polluting, high-efficiency heating and cooling, technologies in new buildings in regions where they are already cost-competitive.