The future of energy efficiency. Let’s go!

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We need you to help us test new energy-efficiency technologies that will help further reduce the amount of energy a home or business needs for space and water heating.

Join us to test leading-edge innovative technologies

Sign up to be notified about upcoming pilot program opportunities. If chosen to participate in a pilot program, you could be eligible for incentives, be among the first to test a new product and help influence the future of energy efficiency in BC. So, let’s go!

Why we pilot new energy-efficiency technologies

We’re always looking for opportunities to help our customers save energy and money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting the province’s climate action goals. Finding and testing new, leading-edge innovative technologies is one way our innovative technologies team is rethinking the future of energy in BC.

We often run pilot programs to test these technologies. In fact, many of our past pilot programs have been very successful and turned into rebate programs made available to all customers.

Current pilots

Here are our current pilot programs:

Residential Electric Heat Pump Evaluation Pilot

We’re seeking up to 15 participants who are currently using an electric heat pump for space heating to enroll in the Residential Electric Heat Pump Evaluation pilot. If you’re using an electric heat pump to heat and cool your home, you could earn up to $1,000 in incentives by signing up for this pilot. The pilot aims to evaluate the energy savings, customer acceptance, and value proposition of electric heat pump technology installed across FortisBC’s service territories. These findings could help fill the information gaps related to the field performance of electric heat pumps and develop informed demand side management opportunities to reduce energy usage and GHG emissions.

All participants will be required to respond to a survey about their electricity consumption for the last three years and allow to install additional sensors to measure the performance of their electric heat pump for one year.

If you’re interested in participating, please complete the Application Form by Thursday, September 15, 2022.

Results: expected in December 2023

Residential Hybrid Heating

We’re seeking up to 100 participants who are currently using a dual-fuel hybrid heating system (such as an electric heat pump for primary heating/cooling and a natural gas furnace for supplemental heating) to enroll in the Residential Hybrid Heating pilot. If you’re using a combination like this to heat and cool your home, you could earn up to $1,000 in incentives by signing up for the Residential Hybrid Heating pilot. The pilot aims to evaluate the energy savings, customer acceptance and value proposition of hybrid heating technologies currently installed across FortisBC’s service territories. These findings could help fill the information gaps related to the field performance of hybrid heating systems and develop informed demand side management opportunities to reduce energy usage and utility costs.

All participants will be required to respond to a survey about their gas and electricity consumption for the last three years. Some participants will have to allow equipment installation to measure the performance of their hybrid heating system for one year.

Results: expected in December 2023

Stone Mountain Technologies gas absorption heat pumps

Ten residential natural gas customers are testing a new gas absorption heat pump for space and water heating that reportedly offers efficiencies of more than 100 per cent. These systems can even operate on Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).1 Pilot participants are in the Lower Mainland and in the Interior so we can compare system efficiencies and reliability across the various climate zones, as well as overall customer acceptance. The results from this pilot program might lead to a gas absorption heat pump rebate program for residential FortisBC customers in the future.

Results: expected in summer 2023

Thermolift gas heat pumps

The first pilot program of its kind in North America, ten residential natural gas customers are testing a prototype gas heat pump for space and water heating. The ThermoLift heat pump provides space and water heating in one system and is reported to achieve more than 100 per cent efficiency. The technology can operate using conventional natural gas or RNG and is hydrogen enabled. This pilot is testing the efficiency, reliability and customer acceptance of the technology and could lead to a rebate program available to all FortisBC natural gas customers.

Results: expected in summer 2023

Deep Energy Retrofit

A deep energy retrofit is a comprehensive approach to significantly enhancing the energy efficiency of a building, while also improving comfort and reducing emissions. Two separate groups of customers—one residential and the other commercial—have been selected to participate in our Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Program.

The work will include improvements to the building envelope and space heating systems. Building envelope includes all the components that separate the indoors from the outdoors and includes the exterior walls, foundation, roof, windows and doors. Building envelope improvements may include new high-efficiency windows, upgrades to the insulation and air-sealing. Existing space heating systems will be replaced with high-efficiency technologies, such as gas absorption heat pumps.

Several multi-unit residential buildings (e.g., rental apartments) and single-family homes are participating to showcase different approaches and technologies. The pilot will aim to verify energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential, as well as gauge customer acceptance and the implementation process. The results of the pilot program will help us determine the feasibility of offering a full-scale rebate program to all customers in the future.

We’re here to help

For more information about our pilot programs, email [email protected] or call 604-592-7918.

1Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create carbon neutral Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane).