More efficiency and savings. Lower climate impact.

Did you know that heat for buildings is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Ontario?*

Gas heat pumps (GHPs) are able to heat homes and buildings with technology that’s more than 100 percent efficient, reducing emissions by up to 50 percent compared to conventional heating equipment.

GHPs are a type of air-source heat pump powered by natural gas. A heat pump transfers heat from one area to another. One of the main differences between a heat pump and a conventional furnace is that heat pumps use energy to transfer heat, whereas a furnace generates heat through the combustion cycle.

GHPs offer an affordable way for Ontarians to take action to lower energy use and reduce emissions.

How gas heat pumps support a clean energy future

GHPs offer a pathway to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as the natural gas distribution system is decarbonized with carbon-neutral fuels such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen.

Reduce energy costs by 20 – 50 percent, compared to conventional heating equipment.

Reduce GHG emissions by 20 – 50 percent, compared to natural gas furnaces and boilers.

Can provide heating and hot water.

Compatible with cleaner fuels such as renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen.

Exceed building codes and standards with efficiency greater than 100 percent.

How GHPs achieve greater than 100% efficiency

GHPs provide space heating and hot water. Using natural gas, they work by drawing in heat from the outdoor air and transferring it in and out of homes or buildings. This cycle of energy transfer keeps homes and buildings warm in winter.

GHPs can be installed in both residential and commercial settings. They have the potential to replace natural gas furnaces and hot water systems, using less fuel to provide the same level of comfort.

This diagram shows how GHPs can achieve greater than 100 percent efficiency.

  • When 100 units of energy from natural gas are used to power the unit, 30 – 70 units of existing heat from ambient outdoor air are extracted.
  • When combined with the energy input from natural gas, 120 – 160 units of energy are available to heat the home. The total energy output (120 – 160) is greater than the energy input (100), resulting in greater than 100 percent efficiency.

More GHP resources

Energy Solutions Center

Energy Solutions Center

North American Gas Heat Pump Collaborative

North American Gas Heat Pump Collaborative

Learn more about GHPs

We can help identify opportunities for homeowners, commercial buildings, municipalities, industry and more. Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Visit these GHP manufacturers for more information

Frequently asked questions

Heat pumps in heating mode are effectively air conditioners running in reverse, extracting heat from outdoors and efficiently moving it indoors. Engine-driven GHPs work very similarly to electric heat pumps, with the electric motor replaced by a natural gas engine. Absorption GHPs replace the motor and compressor with a generator and absorber running on natural gas.

GHPs lower heating costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and provide a reliable system that does not require a back-up heating source. They can run on renewable natural gas and in the future will run on blends of hydrogen to further reduce GHG emissions.

GHPs typically have a lifespan of 20 years.

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Explore more heating solutions

Adopting a mix of clean technologies including hybrid heating, solar, geothermal and more can help us heat and cool sustainably.

Clean Home Heating Initiative

Incentives up to $4,500 for installing an air-source heat pump unit with smart controls.

Low-carbon and renewable hydrogen

Injected into the natural gas system or used on its own, hydrogen provides cleaner, greener energy.

A clean energy future

Learn how we’re collaborating to advance new green technologies.

* Source: Canada Energy Regulator - Ontario’s 2019 emission sources.
As heat pumps use energy to transfer heat rather than generate it, the resulting efficiency in terms of heat output is greater than 100 percent.