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What is dual energy conversion?

Converting to dual-energy consists of transforming your current heating system into a system that uses two energy sources, namely electricity and a fuel, in order to benefit from a more advantageous rate from Hydro-Québec, and therefore save on your energy bill. Although it may require a significant investment depending on the case, this transition is beneficial for the user, the electricity provider and the environment in the long term.

What is bi-energy?

In common parlance, the term dual-energy refers to a heating system that uses two energy sources:

  • Electricity as the main energy source;
  • A fuel such as natural gas, oil or propane, as a backup source during cold weather.

How does dual energy work?

The operation of dual energy is relatively simple.

  • Electricity is used as the energy source to power your heater as long as the outside temperature is -12°C or higher (or -15°C in some areas).
  • The system automatically switches to fuel heating via a switch when the outside temperature drops below -12 or -15 °C. This usually corresponds to a period of about 3 weeks per year.

The system has a temperature sensor installed outside the house that will send a signal to the changeover device when the temperature goes above or below the specified thresholds. The latter then activates the transition from one energy source to another, without human intervention.

What is the advantage of dual energy for the consumer?

The use of a dual-energy heating system will allow you to benefit from a particularly advantageous rate, called Rate DT, from Hydro-Québec:

  • When the outside temperature is -12 or -15°C or higher, which is most of the year, the cost of electricity is $4.542/kWh, compared to $6.319/kWh (1st tier) or $9.749/kWh (2nd tier) for the standard rate, which remains stable throughout the year. It is especially economical if you use an electric air conditioner in the summer, in addition to the other appliances needed for daily use.
  • When the outdoor temperature is below -12 or -15°C, Rate DT increases to $26.555/kWh, again compared to $6.319/kWh (1st tier) or $9.749/kWh (2nd tier) for the standard rate. Nevertheless, your heating system is no longer powered by electricity. In addition, it is a short period of about 3 weeks per year. In addition, an indicator light shows you when you are in “high rate” mode. You can then take the necessary steps to reduce your consumption.

In the end, the dual-energy system allows you to make interesting savings over the long term, especially since the cost of fuels such as gas and oil is generally unstable.

What is the advantage of dual energy for Hydro-Québec?

In Quebec, the demand for electricity explodes during periods of extreme cold due to the fact that most homes have electric heating systems running at full capacity. The use of dual-energy systems thus facilitates the management of the distribution network for Hydro-Québec. That’s why the company encourages consumers to make the energy transition by offering low rates.

What is the environmental benefit of dual energy?

Many homes still use oil heaters today. In addition to entailing significant expenses, due to its unstable price, this oil derivative is very polluting for the environment.

Its use causes the release of a large amount of greenhouse gases into the air. With a dual-energy system, the fuel-fired heating system operates for only a few days a year. In addition, the systems generally use natural gas or wood pellets instead of fuel oil.

What is the most interesting combination for a dual energy system?

Conversion to dual energy is possible if you have a central hot water or forced air system. The most interesting combination is that of a heat pump and a wood pellet heater. We explain.

The heat pump, an ecological and economical device

The heat pump is an electrical device that uses energy from the air or the ground, i.e. renewable and free energy, to heat the interior of your home in winter and cool the atmosphere in summer.

More concretely, it transfers heat but does not produce it. This means that it uses less electricity than ordinary heating systems and is therefore less expensive in the long run. In addition, it does not release greenhouse gases during its operation.

The pellet boiler, a satisfactory performance and ecological operation

Wood pellets are among the cheapest fuels on the market. In addition, the amount of greenhouse gases released during its combustion is relatively low compared to that emitted by fuel oil. In addition, the wood pellet boiler offers a more interesting performance compared to other fuel devices.

Let a professional convert your heating system to dual-energy!

At Confort Prestige, we can take care of the conversion of your current heating system to dual energy. For this, we put at your disposal qualified and serious professionals who will do everything possible to guarantee your comfort, your safety and your satisfaction. Do not hesitate to contact us to request our services or to obtain additional information.

Conclusion

Dual energy is therefore an interesting heating system to save money, preserve the environment and reduce the Hydro-Quebec bill during the coldest periods. The investment required for the transition can be as much as $7,000, depending on the extent of the work to be done and the devices chosen. Unfortunately, no grants are available at this time. In all cases, an expert will be able to guide you towards the solution that best suits your situation and your budget.