Space heating is the Yukon’s second most energy-intensive sector. We must reduce our demand for heat energy by improving insulation and building technology with the goal of Net Zero Energy buildings. Biomass and electric space heating including heat pumps, electric thermal storage, and conventional baseboards can all replace fossil fuels for heating our buildings.
Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) uses electricity at night to heat up bricks, then releases the heat through the day. This technology reduces peak demand on the electrical grid, and thus helps reduce reliance on diesel generators to meet the peaks.
Heat pumps move heat from cold places (the ground or outside air) into warmer places (inside your house). The technology is very similar to a refrigerator which takes heat from inside the cold fridge and moves it into the kitchen. Heat pumps use less energy than any other heat source but sometimes require a backup or secondary heat source for very cold days.
Biomass will continue to be an important local fuel source for heat energy in the Yukon. We need to ensure that air quality and forest ecosystem health are maintained through maximum efficiency systems and sustainable harvest.
The Energy Solutions Centre offers rebates on energy efficiency improvements for homes, businesses, and other buildings. Check out the incentives to reduce your energy consumption at: https://yukon.ca/good-energy
In May 2014, YCS hosted a workshop about ETS: a space heating energy solution to displace fossil fuels, reduce peaking on the electricity grid, and maximize integration of intermittent renewable energy such as wind.
YCS sees great potential for biomass heating units to work with electric heating units where one acts as a backup for the other. This is the ultimate achievement in replacing imported fossil fuels with local renewable resources, and should be actively explored and implemented.