Electrify Your Home Group

Invitation: Join CAM’s New Electrify Your Home Group

Note: Our next meeting will be in January, 2024 – place and date to be announced.

Illustration of house and yard using green energy

graphic credit: Environmental and Energy Study Institute/Joanne Zulinski

Are you in the process of electrifying your home and yard? Would you like to share info with others doing the same thing? CAM is setting up a citizen leadership group for the Muskoka area to share knowledge, research, resources, frustrations — and solutions!

We envision this as a group of up to 10 people in the process of electrifying our homes and yards.

  • Meet at each-others’ homes for a few hours once a month to share best practices and resources such as who to talk with, where to source specialized technology and contractors, grants and loans and how to navigate the application process.
  • Capture this information and our stories of the changes in written and/or video form for sharing.
  • Put up lawn signs to tell our neighbours we are electrifying and give a QR code to link to for more information.  
  • Organize a fall house tour so people can come and see the projects being done. Like a garden tour.  
  • Spread the word, so that others are inspired to do the same, and to make the process easier over time.     

If you are on the electrification journey, whether it be just starting out, electrifying your tools, installing a heat pump, or in the process of installing solar, you belong in this group! Interested?
Contact us at climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com.

The first meeting of the Electrify your Home Group was held Wednesday (May 4)

Our direction

It is complicated and confusing figuring out how to electrify because the industry is undeveloped in Ontario and service providers are not experienced with the new technology, so the lesson is to “copy what other people are doing that works”.  And that is what this Neighbours group will be supporting – “Copy what Works”

We will continue with monthly meetings of neighbours, sharing our stories, sharing resources and encouraging each other to electrify our homes and yards.

Copy what Works Resources

https://www.diamondrenewable.com/       – for solar panels. 

https://kegelheatingandcooling.ca/    – for heat pumps. 

https://harbordvillage.com/projects/netzero-carbon-project       Check out this GREAT site from the Harbord Village Residents Association (in Toronto) for discounts on induction stoves and hybrid heat pump electric water heaters. 

https://electrify613.ca/.   group based in Ottawa wanting to electrify 100 homes with great information on their Slack channel.  See the attached picture of their lawn signs.

Sept 26 – Pam’s house in Baysville. Pam has been on a huge renovation journey to completely insulate the outside of a beautiful cedar Panabode cottage that was her parents cottage. She replace all the windows and had a ductless air source heat pump installed with two heads.  She just finished her installation of grid tied roof mounted solar panels the week before our meeting. There is no battery storage in Pams system. Pam drives a Kia Soul EV.

Pam hired Diamond Renewable Energy to do the solar panel installation and Corey, one of the principals at Diamond, came to the meeting to answer our questions. 

Some things we learned:

Expect it to take at least six months from beginning to end of the installation for the design phase, the permitting phase, then the install.

Diamond has seen a large increase in demand and their staffing and systems havent been able to keep up, so they are behind on communicating to clients and installing. Corey said they are working to improve this.

Unfortunately, there are no good quality solar panels made in Canada and they all come from China or South Korea.  Canada is at least two years from having our own supply of good quality solar panels.

Corey doesnt recommend installing a standard off the shelf system for everyone. They do a full assessment of how you use electricity through the day, your present and future electricity needs and design the system to these specifications.

Battery storage is very expensive, and not necessarily a good investment unless you have specific needs for battery back-up.

We all talked about how complicated the Canada Greener Homes Grant process was. I gave my opinion I would pay a consultant to oversee my application and explain things to me so I was confident of not missing anything. But, there aren’t consultants available to hire and this is only going to get harder as more people begin applying for the Grants.

Oct 24 – Tamsen’s house in Bracebridge. Tamsen has installed a ducted air source heat pump. She noted it is noisier than expected in winter and blows air, obviously, so choose a location where it is away from your bedroom or where people sit. Tamsen also installed a hybrid air source heat pump electric tank hot water heater.  That’s a mouthful. I have the same system. She was expecting Diamond to install her solar panels by the time of our meeting, but there had been more delays and more questions about exactly what was included in her quote.

Some things we learned: 

Understand your solar panel installation design and what you are being quoted to a fine level of detail to avoid errors and misunderstandings between you and the contractor. 

We’ve had a few discussions at both meetings about whether a Level 2 EV charger is required if you have an EV car, or if you can work with a Level 1 which is plugged into the standard 120v outlet. It depends on how fast your car charges and if you can charge overnight when the price of “time of use” electricity is low, and your driving usage. Don’t assume you need a Level 2 EV charger for your needs. But, the chargers look really nice.

For more information Contact us at climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com.

Now’s the time: Port Carling resident says air source heat pump is the way to go these days

Friday Nov 3,2023 – Brent Cooper – Muskokaregion,com

Steven Inniss stands next to the Mitsubishi air source heat pump system he had installed at his Port Carling home, which was built more than 100 years ago. 

…Innis said his research shows that between 50 to 60 per cent of European homes use this type of heat source, while in Ontario it is below the six per cent mark of all homes.

He said the newer heat pumps, like the one he has installed, can continue operating with outdoor winter temperatures of -35 Celsius, as opposed to -25 for some models.

Here’s a podcast from Australia about electrifying your home.

Some information is Australia specific but most can be adapted to our Ontario experience. Worth a listen!

Monday July 17, 2023More from Australia

RenewEconomy launches SwitchedOn.A special series about electrification.

The world is transitioning to an all-electric future, and over the next twenty years we will all be on a journey to electrify everything – our homes, our cars, and our businesses.

Electrification is now acknowledged as being essential for the world to get to zero emissions in the fastest possible time.

And that’s because electrification is now the cheapest way to run our homes and businesses, and how we can have the biggest and fastest impact on climate this decade.

Electrifying everything means ditching gas stoves, water heaters and space heaters, petrol cars, diesel trucks, and coal fired power stations, etc, and replacing them with induction stoves, electric cars, trucks and buses, heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbines, and storage. 

Check out SwitchedOn. – Articles, Podcasts, Explainers, MythBusters, Subscribe to the newsletter.