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Boltzmann Institute is investigating the pre-feasibility of a neighbourhood district heating project in Toronto, to serve apartment buildings with heat mostly harvested from their own sewage water. Preliminary findings indicate this may be a viable project. Due diligence will be carried out in 2023.

Ottawa – Old Rochesterville

Governments and the public have largely committed to achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 (NZ 2050).  However, there has been little direction on how to get there and what to do now.  Accordingly, the general public is lost.  This is especially true for existing buildings.  For this reason, a neighbourhood in Ottawa, Old Rochesterville, was selected as a basis of comparison of possible pathways to NZ 2050.  

The prime examples of electrification of space heating with heat pumps and modern low temperature district heating (LTDH) are compared.  The analysis shows that electrification options often overlook the cost and operational impacts on the electricity grid and so estimates in this analysis include all societal costs – not just costs at the buildings.  

The analysis also examines the impact of energy efficiency retrofits/demand reduction on societal costs.  Findings, so far, indicate that even in older low density urban areas, that Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH)  offers a lower societal cost and has minimal impact on the electric grid compared to electrification, even with deep retrofits. 

Funding is being sought to incorporate the input of subject matter experts to review and confirm or modify work to date to provide a “Neighbourhood guide to net zero GHG pathways for Old Rochesterville”. The guide will propose what individual building owners can do and what they might call on the community to support regarding thermal network options.