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CGA takes on ‘irresponsible’ home heating story

Canadian Gas Association takes on myths and incomplete reporting related to natural gas, electrification and home heating.

The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) has written an open letter about proposals to replace natural gas home heating with electrical sources, taking specific aim at a CBC article titled “Goodbye gas furnaces? Why electrification is the future of home heating.”

The CBC story highlights criticisms of natural gas as a home heating fuel, notably, its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, while suggesting alternatives such as electric baseboards and heat pumps.

The CGA’s response, published as an open letter on Twitter, points out that the story is “irresponsibly incorrect”, highlighting some key areas of imbalance and omission.

  • The problem of methane leaks is overstated, neglecting to incorporate public information from the federal National Inventory Report and the Canadian Energy Partnership for Environmental Information that show Canada’s natural gas systems’ methane emissions total only 0.3 per cent of Canada’s total 2017 GHG emissions; and how the natural gas industry is working to further decrease methane emissions.
  • The article suggests the only way to make a building 100 per cent emission neutral is through electrification. The CGA points out that innovations such as using renewable natural gas (e.g., produced from landfills) or incorporating hydrogen could be used to deliver zero-emissions gaseous-piped energy to buildings.
  • The article is silent on issues like reliability and cost—critical factors in a country like Canada where temperatures can fall below -30 degrees Celsius. The added cost of using electrical sources of home heating, the CGA points out, would dramatically increase home heating bills in the order of thousands of dollars a year for many Canadians.

Read the full CGA response here.