Hydro-Quebec and Énergir pilot dual-energy solution with institutional partners
February 23, 2022 – Hydro-Quebec and Énergir are piloting a dual-energy solution that would make it possible for natural gas heating systems to run on electricity, thereby reducing the GHG emissions associated with residential, commercial and institutional buildings.
In the coming months, three institutional partners—Aquarium du Québec; Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq), Centre multifonctionnel de Contrecœur; École Très-Saint-Sacrement, Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (Lachine)—will test different devices that use both electricity and natural gas with the goal of reducing natural gas consumption by relying on electricity most of the time (and gas only in very cold weather).
“Dual energy represents an added tool for us to provide our customers with reliable service while limiting the pressure during peak demand periods,” Sabrina Harbec, Hydro-Quebec. “The pilot projects will enable us to test and refine the complementary use of electricity and natural gas for institutional and commercial customers.”
The aim of the pilot projects is to test current technologies and determine an effective balance between electricity and natural gas ahead of the implementation of a service offering for the commercial and institutional sectors (subject to the approval of the Régie de l’énergie).
At the same time, the two distributors are leading pilot projects in the residential market to optimize the experience for customers who choose dual energy as a replacement for natural gas. The offer for this market is expected to be launched this summer (subject to the approval of the Régie de l’énergie).
The historical consumption peaks recorded during recent cold snaps highlight the importance of efficient electricity use to reduce pressure on Hydro-Quebec’s power system when the demand for electricity is high, says the utility. Dual energy systems could maximize the proportion of electricity in building heating while limiting the impact on peak periods.