Research and reports

Discussion Paper: Grid Implications of Electrifying Residential New Construction (October 2023)

A recent article in Le Droit implied that grid constraints can limit or delay new residential projects—in this specific case, in Gatineau, Quebec. The article raised concerns in the energy information space and among policy makers about the viability of all-electric residential new construction in the near term. 

In response, the Building Decarbonization Alliance reached out to our partner network to better understand the issue, conducting interviews with several utilities and one of their trade associations. Based on these discussions, we’ve come to understand that widespread concerns are not warranted, and that we should not delay the pursuit of broadly electrifying new construction.

This is where you come in. As a BDA partner, we’re looking to you to bring forward additional insights, observations, or data to further support or challenge our understanding of this complex issue. Have a look at the report at the link below, and use this form to let us know what you think. We’ve developed targeted questions for different stakeholders, so whether you’re a policymaker, residential builder, distribution planner, or just an interested party, we want to hear from you.

The Cool Way to Heat Homes:
Installing Heat Pumps Instead of Central Air Conditioners in Canada (August 2023)

The need for cooling is becoming a matter of life and death in Canada. The 2021 heat dome in BC is the single deadliest weather event in Canadian history, and after the hottest July ever recorded globally and temperatures reaching over 40 degrees in BC in August, it’s no surprise that nearly 7,000 Canadians are adding a central air conditioning system to their home every week.

The difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump is minimal, but the benefits of switching are massive. By encouraging a market shift to heat pumps, policy makers can unlock billions of dollars in net benefits, all while making major progress towards a net-zero economy.

This report was released in collaboration with the Canadian Climate Institute, Efficiency Canada, and Greenhouse Institute.

The Case for Building Electrification in Canada (June 2023)

The clock is ticking. To meet our climate goals, we must act now to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canada’s buildings and the systems that support them. With this impetus, it’s more important than ever for stakeholders to have clear and reliable information on the most effective pathways to decarbonizing our buildings—and in this position paper, we make the case for electrification as the best way for the sector to achieve net zero.

Specifically, the paper addresses:

  • Why electrification is the most viable pathway to lower building emissions
  • How electrification reduces building-sector emissions
  • Why electrification offers a viable heating solution for Canadian winters
  • Why electrification is an economical pathway to building decarbonization 
  • How electrification is a solution for both new and existing buildings
  • What additional benefits building electrification offers Canadians

While acknowledging the challenges that electrification entails, we argue that it is the most viable, most economical pathway to decarbonizing Canada’s building sector.

Sign Up for the BDA Bulletin!

Stay up to date on the latest research, events, and projects from the Building Decarbonization Alliance, plus related news and resources from across Canada and around the world.

Joining our alliance is simple, and doesn’t cost a thing. Just hit the button below.