With electricity rates being as high as they are, and the price of gas being so low, few people would argue that making the switch saves money. In fact, with electricity rates set to rise in Ontario for the next 20 years, it makes sense to switch as soon as possible.
But how much does it actually save? And is it worth spending the money to buy a new system?
Switch to Save Thousands – Every Year
According to this calculator, you can save almost $2,000 versus electricity. For a single family detached home in the Toronto area with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms , and 1,500 – 1,999 square feet of living space, the savings came to $1,817 – every year.
The calculator allows you to tailor the search according to the size and type of home.
How Do I Figure Out My Actual Savings Potential?
If you’re prepared to do some calculations, you can get out your bills and find out how much you can save for your actual usage.
Are There Other Reasons to Switch?
There are a variety of reasons – besides cost.
- Reliability. While falling tree branches can mean your electricity supply gets cut off, natural gas lines keep working even when there’s an ice storm.
- Popularity. As of 2016, 76% of homes in Ontario are already heated with gas. That means there’s already excellent infrastructure already set up in all but the most rural areas.
- Versatility. Once your home is supplied with natural gas, it can heat your home, your water supply, give you the kind of stove that every serious cook dreams of, and even fuel your barbecue.
- Home buyers look for it. In fact, most people looking for a home will skip homes that don’t have natural gas heating.
If your home is already set up with radiators, you don’t necessarily need to rip everything out and put in ductwork for a forced air furnace. A natural gas boiler can be connected to your radiator system, helping you keep more of your money in your pocket.
If your home has electric baseboards, you will need to have ductwork installed. This site says it can cost between $3,000 and $7,000 dollars, depending on the size of your home. There will also be additional costs for permits, the furnace and AC, adding the gas line into your home, and possibly upgrading the electrical service if needed. This homeowner paid about $14,000 all told.
If your home has ductwork and an electric furnace, you’re halfway to saving money with natural gas.
The only way to find out how much it will cost exactly to convert your home is to get quotes from providers. Make sure any quotes you get are all-inclusive, and factor in things like permits and labour.
Will the Liberal Government’s Climate Change Action Plan “Ban” Natural Gas Heating?
You may have heard about the Wynne government’s plan to “ban” natural gas heating and to bring in a new law to have new homes built after 2030 to be fitted with electric heating only. Will this actually happen?
The short answer is no.
While the plan calls for incentives and rebates that will encourage people to go to electric heating and electric cars, it simply will not happen for most of us. This news article explains why it is just not practical to simply order the elimination of natural gas, even decades from now. In a nutshell, it’s just too expensive, especially considering that electricity rates will continue to rise – up to 42% by this estimate.
Long Term Savings
If you add up the savings over time, it makes sense to switch. If you’re a homeowner, the next 20 years will be all about finding ways to reduce your electricity consumption – without switching off TVs and computers. Switching to gas can be a big part of that strategy.