Cold-climate air source heat pumps: Assessing cost-effectiveness, energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Canadian homes
This report addresses the need for an understanding of energy savings, utility bill savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions that could be expected from the installation of a cold climate air source heat pump (CC-ASHP) or hybrid heat pump (gas furnace with heat pump), when compared to conventional home heating systems in a variety of different types of homes, in different locations in Canada.
The study accomplishes this by using four different home archetypes ranging in levels of performance from pre-1980's construction to the latest net zero energy ready home. Load calculations are made for these homes using NRCan's HOT2000 software. Heat pump and other home heating system performance data was gathered and used to meet the loads for the different archetype homes. Based on the energy used by each home heating system to meet the loads, utility bills, annual energy use and GHG emissions were computed.
- CC-ASHPs generate less GHG emissions than oil furnaces in all parts of Canada
- CC-ASHPs generate less GHG emissions than gas furnaces in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick
- The operating costs of CC-ASHPs are less than electric resistance or oil furnaces for space heating in all parts of Canada
- In regions where natural gas prices are low, the operating costs of CC-ASHPs are more comparable to the operating cost of a conventional gas furnace
- In an all-electric service scenario (no gas connection), results show that a CC-ASHP system is cheaper to operate than a gas furnace in most regions of Canada
- In a split gas/electric scenario (gas connection retained), results show utility bills increase by $100-$500/year in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and colder regions of British Columbia, while utility bills decrease in other parts of Canada
- A gas-hybrid configuration may be more attractive to homeowners who opt for split gas/electric service due to savings in cost, energy and GHG emissions
The report will be of interest to homeowners, mechanical systems designers, energy service organisations, manufacturers, and distributors as it improves awareness of the benefits of using CC-ASHP and hybrid system technologies in Canadian homes.
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