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Heat Pump Advantage

Why is Hydro One offering this pilot?

The Heat Pump Advantage pilot program was designed with the intent to help customers with electric heating reduce their energy costs. This pilot program is part of a government initiative aimed at lowering electricity use in Ontario through conservation. To learn more about the Conservation First Framework, please click here

Who is eligible to participate?

At the moment, participation is by invitation only and on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, eligibility is based on the following criteria:

  • Be a Hydro One residential customer
  • Live in your home year-round (not seasonally)
  • Own your home
  • Use either an electric furnace or electric baseboards as your primary heat source
  • Complete three short surveys about your experience with the heat pump and the pilot

What is the enrollment process?

  1. Submit your application online or call us at 1-866-380-6051.

    NOTE: Thank you for your interest in the Heat Pump Advantage – Heating System Rebate pilot. Enrollment for this pilot is now closed and new applications will no longer be accepted.

  2. We will review your application to determine your eligibility for this pilot. Within 3 to 5 business days we will email you (or Summerhill will call) with your status and the next steps. For this pilot, we are working with Summerhill, a company that helps deliver conservation programs to utility customers.
  3. If you qualify, Summerhill will set up a time to have an Energy Advisor call you.
  4. The Energy Advisor will visit your home to determine the proper heat pump type and size for your home. They will review your current heating system, assess the installation area and your heating requirements. The Energy Advisor will ensure that you are well informed and can answer any questions you have regarding the products. They will leave you with a preliminary quote on the units available in this pilot and literature for your review. Please note: we may need to take pictures of the installation area.
  5. Summerhill will follow up with you by phone to ask if you'd like to go ahead and receive the final quote(s) from contractor(s).
  6. The contractor(s) will visit your home to review the available units and provide quotes so you can decide which unit is right for you.
  7. You will be asked to complete a participant agreement, and provide the contractor with a deposit for the unit, subject to the contractor's agreement. You and the contractor will make arrangements for the balance of the payment.
  8. The Hydro One incentive, up to $4,000 of the equipment and installation cost, not including taxes, will be paid to the contractor, minus $200, which will be paid directly to you when you have completed the three surveys.
  9. The contractor will install and test the air-source heat pump, train you on how to use it and provide support for the heat pump as well as the payment arrangements. The Energy Advisor will conduct a post-installation inspection and provide further assistance during the pilot, if necessary.
  10. Upon completion of the installation, you will be sent the first survey to evaluate the installation and provide us with information on your home's characteristics.
  11. Up to two other surveys will be sent to evaluate your satisfaction with the heat pump and any changes in your home's characteristics.
  12. Upon completion of the final survey, the remaining $200 of the incentive will be mailed to you.

 

Who is Summerhill?

Summerhill helps deliver conservation programs to customers of utilities in North America. Learn more on the Summerhill website.

Why is participation in the pilot limited?

Funding for this pilot allows for a limited number of participants. Based on the success of the pilot, we may expand it to a program, offering it to additional Hydro One customers at a later date.

What is the incentive for this pilot?

Participants who install a qualified central heat pump will receive an incentive of up to $4,000 of the equipment and installation cost. Participants who install a ductless unit will receive an incentive of $1,500 for a one head system and $400 per additional indoor head, regardless of number of outdoor units installed, up to a maximum of $4,000. The incentive will be applied upfront to the equipment cost through the contractor who supplies and installs it. $200 will be withheld until the completion of up to 3 surveys.

How do I receive the incentive?

The incentive will be applied upfront to the equipment cost through the contractor who supplies and installs the air-source heat pump. You will see the final bill for the equipment and installation that includes an incentive line for up to $4,000. $200 will be withheld until all three required surveys have been completed.

What is required of me if I participate in this pilot?

Please review the full Terms and Conditions or call 1-866-380-6051, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., or Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

When does this program start and end?

The pilot started in October 2015 and will run for approximately one year after enrollment is completed.

What is an air-source heat pump?

An air-source heat pump (ASHP) provides both heating and cooling to a building. It's important to note that heat pumps don't create heat by burning fuel. During the heating season it extracts heat from the outside air and moves it into the building. Any temperature above absolute zero (-273.15 °C) contains a certain amount of heat, which can be extracted and processed for heating.

The ASHP uses a refrigerant (such as R-410A) that boils and changes state (evaporation and condensation) at very low temperatures. The boiling point of R-410A is -48.5 °C. During the changing of states, energy is absorbed (evaporation) or released (condensation). The ASHP forces the refrigerant to change state by applying and releasing pressure repeatedly. Through this cycle, the refrigerant “extracts” heat from the outside air and moves it into the household (when space heating is required).

During the summer, this cycle is reversed where instead of extracting the heat from the outside and pumping it inside the house, it pulls the heat from inside the house and pumps it outside the home, cooling the home. This is similar to how a refrigerator works, extracting the heat out of the unit to cool the inside and releasing it into the room.
 

What is a Desuperheater?

A Desuperheater is an optional component of an air-source heat pump that transfers heat to your electric hot water tank, reducing your water heating cost. It efficiently pre-heats your hot water tank when your air-source heat pump is either heating or cooling your home.

Typically, a Desuperheater can reduce your water heating cost more in the summer. When your house needs air conditioning, normally the air-source heat pump takes the hot air from inside the home and pumps it outside the home. The Desuperheater takes some of this "free" heat and uses it to heat your hot water tank.

What types of air-source heat pumps are eligible for this pilot?

There are three different types of heat pumps available:

  • Ductless – supplements baseboard units in a home without duct work
  • Central air-source heat pump, ducted – replaces an electric resistance forced air furnace and a central air conditioner for a home with duct work
  • Central air-source heat pump, ducted, with a desuperheater – replaces an electric resistance forced air furnace and provides additional preheating to the water heater (for homes with duct work)

Note: the baseboards of your home will be retained to provide a backup heating source. Central air-source heat pump units have built-in electric coils to provide backup heating.

Hydro One has pre-selected specific manufacturers and models that we will be testing for this pilot. To qualify for the pilot, you must install one of these approved units:

Participating Manufacturer Model
Carrier Infinity variable speed heat pump with Greenspeed Intelligence – central heat pump
Ecologix A2A Series – central heat pump with or without desuperheater to help heat hot water
Fujitsu XLTH – Extra Low Temperature – ductless heat pump
Mitsubishi
Zuba – central heat pump
M-series – ductless heat pump

How much does an air-source heat pump cost?

We expect an air-source heat pump to cost between $4,500 and $15,000 for equipment and installation. Exact costs will vary depending on the heat pump type and size you select as well as the specific installation requirements of your home.

Heat Pump Type Estimated Cost
Ductless - 1 head $4,500
Ductless - 2 heads $9,000
Ductless - 3 heads $11,000
Ductless - 4 heads $13,000
Central $15,000

Who will be installing the air-source heat pump?

Hydro One is working with Summerhill to deliver this program. Their Energy Advisors will introduce you to the products, review your home's heating requirements and provide you with a select group of qualified contractors who will procure and install the equipment. The Energy Advisor will arrange for an inspection to determine which unit is best for you and another appointment with the contractor to finalize a quote and install the unit at a convenient time. Please ask the Energy Advisor to show you his or her Hydro One badge to verify that they are a Summerhill employee representing Hydro One.

Will you be replacing my air conditioning unit as well?

All air-source heat pump units also provide efficient air conditioning. Removing the existing air conditioning unit will allow you to achieve the highest possible energy and bill savings.

If you have a central furnace/air conditioning unit, the contractor will remove the existing central air conditioning unit. If you have a window air conditioning unit, it will be removed at your discretion. Please make arrangements with the contractor if you wish to have the window air conditioner removed, but keep in mind that the incentive cannot be used for this service.

Who do I call when I have questions or problems?

For general questions about the pilot please call Summerhill at 1-866-380-6051 weekdays, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., or Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

After installation if you require assistance with your air-source heat pump, please call the contractor that did the installation directly.

What are the surveys about and how do I complete them?

You will be asked to complete up to three online surveys about your experience during the pilot. We will ask about your home, satisfaction levels, and the performance of the technology and the delivery agent. These results will help us determine if and how we should expand this program to all our customers. The surveys should only take a few minutes of your time to complete and all information will be kept strictly confidential.

Will Hydro One be monitoring my energy consumption?

Your home's energy consumption will be monitored via the smart meter, which is currently used to determine your energy consumption on your bill. This will be done throughout the pilot to determine the success of the program. All information will be kept confidential.

Will my information be kept private?

Yes. All information you provide us will be kept confidential and will not be shared with outside parties without your consent.

What are the potential electricity and bill savings for my heating and cooling?

An air-source heat pump is expected to save around 50% of your space heating energy usage compared to a conventional electric resistance space heating unit. Typically bill savings are approximately $675 to $1,350, but will vary based on consumption patterns, type of air-source heat pump, weather, electricity price, home characteristics, and other factors.
See potential savings

How do I set my baseboards to maximize savings?

Although heat pumps produce heat very efficiently, we want to make sure you get the most out of your new heating system and maximize your savings. In the area where your heat pump is installed, manufacturers recommend that you set your baseboard temperature at least 5°-10°C below the heat pump set point temperature. This will help you lower your heating bills by ensuring that you will be using your new, energy efficient heat pump to heat your home instead of relying on the less efficient baseboards. However, it’s important to note that we recommend you do not set the temperature on the baseboards below 10°C. This is to avoid any risk of damage to your home that could be caused by frozen pipes.

When can I expect payback on my investment?

The payback period can vary depending on many factors such as participant heating load, home layout, number and size of heat pumps installed, thermostat set points and behavioural factors among others. Based on an average all in variable electricity cost of $0.18/kWh, which includes both commodity and delivery charges, a typical payback period for a single head ductless heat pump that displaces at least 80% of the total heating load is expected to be approximately 5-6 years. Similarly, a central heat pump is expected to have a payback of approximately 9-10 years. An air-source heat pump is expected to last for 15-20 years with proper maintenance.