BC residents are saving money on their energy bills with a switch from natural gas to a heat pump.
Learn about the findings from our Make the Switch Study
To better understand the real-world operating costs of homes that have switched from natural gas heating systems to a heat pump, Saanich led a survey to gather this data from households in Southwest BC.
Check out the results of the Make the Switch Summary Report (April 2023). [PDF - 1 MB]
The findings from the study address a common myth that natural gas is the most affordable way to heat your home, and provide insights on how residents can ensure a cost-effective switch when replacing their gas equipment with a heat pump.
Here are some of the highlights from the study:
- On average, those who swapped out their natural gas furnace or boiler for an electric heat pump are now paying 10% less on their utility bills than they did before their switch;
- Two-thirds of participants are now paying the same, or less, on their utility bills than they did before their switch;
- On average, those who replaced their natural gas furnace or boiler with an electric heat pump reduced their household carbon pollution by 73%;
- Using an electric heat pump achieves the same carbon pollution reduction for the same or less money as a subscription to renewable natural gas service would;
- More than 97% called their new heat pump system “better” or “much better” than their previous natural gas system; and
- Strategies to ensure a cost-effective gas to heat pump conversion include using a qualified and experienced contractor, minimizing secondary heating sources such as natural gas fireplaces, and improving insulation and air-sealing prior to the upgrade.
While the sample size was limited at 24 households, the findings align closely with BC Hydro’s Bringing the Heat Report (September 2022), which calculated that a natural gas furnace costs, on average, $731/year to operate, whereas an electric heat pumps costs around $642/year. That represents potential savings of nearly 13% for the average home that switches from gas to a heat pump.
Watch videos of people who made the switch
Participants from the study shared some of their motivations for making the switch, and provided advice to others who may be considering a heat pump.
Check out the Heat Pump Chronicles below!