Market Research Report – “Stuck”

OPEN Technologies and Vancity have teamed up to research and identify the factors that are holding back the shift from natural gas home space and water heating toward clean alternatives, such as electric heat pumps. The market research report – “Stuck: Why home electrification is lagging in British Columbia and what must be done to break the deadlock on residential carbon retrofits” – summarizes the findings of a trio of original public-opinion studies, and points to opportunities that governments and retrofit program designers can leverage to quickly decarbonize British Columbia’s housing stock. 

This research was commissioned by OPEN and Vancity to better understand the factors that inform homeowner decisions to upgrade or replace their space and water heating equipment, including home age and characteristics, and the factors that create barriers to starting or finishing retrofits. 

The research confirms that most homeowners only replace their gas furnace when it fails and, in the scramble to get heat flowing again, they almost always replace it with another one. This like-for-like swap effectively locks in another generation of carbon emissions. Almost two thirds of the region’s furnaces and boilers will reach the end of their service life between today and 2030, representing a massive opportunity for the province to electrify these homes and hit its climate targets. 

Download the report to see the findings for yourself, and to learn more about this topic!