Pumping Up Savings in Heat
With initial funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC and BullItt Foundation, CEA is supporting municipal partners in Metro Vancouver, Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky Corridor in the development of a new business model to transform the electric air source heat pump market.
The province of British Columbia has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050 below 2007 levels. Within British Columbia the residential sector is responsible for 6% of emissions. For the Province of BC to meeting is climate goals, homes must be decarbonized. The project intends to detail the design for a business model and corresponding program that will transform the market and accelerate electric air source heat pump (ASHP) adoption in single-family detached/semi-detached homes as existing fossil-fueled space heating assets reach end-of-life. If annual adoption rates mirror heating system replacement rates (6%), participating municipalities will exceed their building-related GHG emission targets by 2030.
Heat Pump Retrofit Opportunity
CEA has completed initial research into options for a successful business model, “Business Model Innovation to Support Air Source Heat Pump Retrofits in Metro Vancouver” (November 2019). The public report recommends fundamental elements of a new industry business model that can transform the electric air source heat pump (ASHP) market and deliver the number of ASHP retrofits needed for Metro Vancouver to reach its single-family home GHG emission reduction targets. Business model recommendations were based on a literature review of market transformation strategies and six existing heat pump business models, as well as dozens of interviews with government, industry and civil society organizations. The analysis included elements of the business model innovation process where different ideas were aggregated and evaluated to enhance the value proposition of electric ASHP to subject market.
A Path Forward
A ‘One Stop Shop’ or concierge service model is proposed to pilot. Currently, households interested in installing an electric air source heat pump (ASHP) system are largely left on their own to identify a qualified installer, ensure a quality unit and system design, locate available incentives, and arrange financing. In support of this concept, CEA published “Business Model Innovation to Support Air Source Heat Pump Retrofits in Metro Vancouver: What We’ve Learned” (August 2020). The report expands on the learnings in the original publication and answers several outstanding questions that will be used to inform the design of the business model and programming for pilot implementation in the project partner’s communities.
Need more info?
Currently, the project is entering detailed design. For more information about the Pumping Up Savings in Heat Program, please contact Danielle Wiess, Sr. Community Energy Manager (email@example.com)
Home Energy Retrofit Campaigns
CEA staff managed and developed some of the early Home Energy Retrofit Campaigns in BC. The Rossland Energy Diet of 2011 was one of the province’s campaign leaders, followed by the Nelson EcoSave program in 2012. Nelson EcoSave is a long-term campaign, recently expanding into the entire Regional District of Central Kootenay as "REEP" – Regional Energy Efficiency Program.
In 2019 CEA began managing the New Home component of REEP to encourage a regional approach to adopting the BC Energy Step Code. The interior “Energy Diets” of 2013, managed by CEA staff, were Kootenay Energy Diet; Okanagan Energy Diet and the East Kootenay Energy Diet. Kootenay Energy Diet was funded by Fortis BC, Natural Resources Canada, Columbia Basin Trust and LiveSmart BC, with partnership of the participating local governments and community Credit Unions. The East Kootenay Energy Diet included partnership with BC Hydro. A summary of the early Home Energy Retrofit campaigns can be found here: Energy
Efficiency Analysis Report. This document provides some useful background information on moving forward on “deep dive” retrofit campaigns.
Surrey Gound-Source Heat Pump Study
Building A Legacy
When the BC Energy Step Code was introduced in 2017, CEA addressed an identified knowledge gap in the East Kootenay region of BC by developing the ‘Building a Legacy’ program. Responding to feedback from key industry stakeholders, the program has supported the transition of the East Kootenay building industry to implement the BC Energy Step Code (ESC) and the performance pathway approach to achieving Building Code standards.
Building a Legacy (BAL) includes a number of hands-on training opportunities that combine peer learning with leading edge building science education. We have delivered training for diverse audiences, including builders, architects, designers, sub-trades, real estate professionals, building officials and members of the public. In addition, local knowledge has been leveraged and amplified through a video series and an introduction to BC Energy Step Code video.
For updated information on the status of BC Energy Step Code implementation for new construction in East Kootenay, go to the East Kootenay Energy Step Code overview webpage. Viewers can be informed as to what each municipality is requiring, their timelines, incentives, and contacts.
CEA also developed the BAL Toolkit - an online resource inspired by the East Kootenay initiative. The BAL Toolkit was prepared for local governments to assist the implementation of the BC Energy Step Code. The online resource, linked below, includes a guidebook containing a general introduction to ESC, related Provincial and local government context, and a collection of implementation activities for use by municipalities.
The “Building A Legacy” building science workshops evolved along with the knowledge and capacity of participants. Taking an holistic approach, our instructors recognize that energy efficiency is only one of the important factors to consider in achieving comfortable, durable, high performance buildings. In the culminating workshop, “Making the Links: An Holistic Approach to Air Tightness” building scientist and engineer Hamid Heidarali, stitched together two years of transmitting knowledge and understanding in alternative below-grade, wall, and roof assemblies and their advantages and disadvantages in terms of energy efficiency, moisture management, durability and ease of repair/renovation. Our East Kootenay team has 25 wall, roof and below grade demonstration models, and accompanying technical booklets, available as learning aids to our training sessions.
CEA developed BuildSmart Tailgate training sessions to engage a harder-to-reach audience of sub-trades contractors. The on-site training introduces the BC Energy Step Code, emphasizes the importance of air tightness to the energy performance of a build, and provides a real-time mid-construction blower-door test where air leaks are detected and corrected. One host builder commented, “Thanks for putting on a very informative tailgate…It was invaluable for ourselves, our staff and sub-trades to see where the leaks were occurring!”.
The “Building A Legacy” video series, developed in collaboration with local builders, energy advisors and building officials, highlights topics such as working with an energy advisor, the importance of air tightness for energy efficiency, costs associated with building to the Step Code, and building strategies used to achieve a Step 5 (net-zero ready) home.