What Home Heating is Best for the Environment in Ontario?

If you want to lower the carbon footprint of your home then heating is the best place to start.

Figures from the Canadian government show that nearly two-thirds of the energy consumed in Canadian homes goes to heating. 

Switching to eco-friendly heating will make a big dent in your carbon footprint. Which heat source is most environmentally sustainable though?

Energy Use in Canadian Homes

Data from Natural Resources Canada 2019. link

Table of Contents

Natural Gas Isn't the Fuel to Save the Planet

Burning natural gas does emit less carbon than other fossil fuels. If we’re going to avert catastrophic climate change then burning a less bad fossil fuel is not enough.

Natural gas is the least bad option, oil and propane both emit even more carbon when we use them for home heating.

Nations need to move away much faster from fossil fuels to retain any hope of preventing a perilous future on an overheated planet.

Electric Heat Pumps Are the Answer

Traditional electric heating has a bad rep for good reason. Electric baseboard and space heaters are very expensive to run and not very efficient. Heat pumps are a different creature altogether. 

Heat pumps are fantastically energy efficient. A heat pump doesn’t generate heat, it simply moves around existing heat energy. In fact fridges and air-conditioners both use the exact same physics as a heat pumps — they remove heat from one place and dump it in another. A heat pump works in the same way — but it can reverse direction. Gathering heat energy from outside air and bringing it into your home.

Ontario's Electricity is Clean and Affordable

Many people don’t realize just how clean Ontario’s electrical grid is. 

Coal generation was phased out of our grid in 2014. About 15% of our power is generated using natural gas — the rest is from low-carbon sources like nuclear, wind and hydro-electric. [Data from electricitymaps.com]

Ontario’s electricity generation releases 60 to 80% less carbon than our neighbouring grids in the States.

Our low-carbon electricity makes heat pumps a fantastic carbon fighting tool for Ontario homes.

Ditch Your Natural Gas Connection

Home electrification is one of the best options for decarbonising your home in Ontario. Moving away from fossil fuels — instead using our abundant and clean electricity.

By replacing polluting gas appliances with clean, electric alternatives, we can improve air quality and safety in our communities, lower energy bills, use local clean energy resources, and help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.

Wrapping Up

Switching from burning fossil fuels to an electric heat pump is a great way to reduce the emissions from your home. If you want to learn more about what’s involved then check out our guide to heat pumps in Ontario.

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