Research

Can Canada’s electricity systems handle the electrification of buildings?

April, 2024

Summary

Electrifying buildings helps to reduce emissions in line with Canada’s net zero future but poses several challenges for electricity systems across the country. Navius completed an analysis looking at whether Canada’s electricity systems can handle the electrification of buildings, including impacts on peak load, using a version of our in-house energy-economy model that is fully integrated with our electricity capacity and dispatch model.

Highlights:

  • Achieving net zero emissions in Canada will require significant electrification of residential and commercial buildings. This will increase peak load. 
  • Although building electrification drives an increase in peak load, the extent to which this impacts electricity rates varies by region. Regions with more efficient buildings (e.g., stringent building standards), a milder climate, more electrified industry, and higher current rates of building electrification fare better.
  • As our electricity system evolves towards net zero, non-generation solutions are becoming more sophisticated and can help reduce peak load and mitigate impacts on electricity rates. One example explored in the analysis is utility-controlled charging of electric vehicles.

Click above to download our technical report.

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To learn more about this research, please contact Aurora Marstokk.

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