Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

Sept 4, 2018

HeatingBy Owen Hurst

A point of discussion that I have heard many times from end users is their concern over electric baseboard heating, and electric heating in general. Now let’s be clear, much of the concern comes from those who have experience with older baseboard heating, in older homes, that was the primary or only source of heat.

Older baseboards can be highly inefficient and cost an arm and a leg. However, the time of your grandparent’s baseboard heaters is long gone.

Today baseboard heaters are much more efficient than their older counterparts, and when used as a secondary heating source, or even as the primary, the results are drastically different from 20 years ago. Couple new baseboards with properly insulated homes and an advanced control system, and their use offers a lot of appeal.

Factors to consider

One of the most important is the cost of electricity, which largely depends on the type of power generation in your area. If we look at the U.S., nearly 35% of homes operate on some form of electric heat, which can be expensive if you live in one of the many states that use coal and oil to produce electricity. And with the current administration’s drive to reinvigorate the coal industry, it is unlikely this trend will shift.

Overall, Canadian hydro costs are lower and will continue to be as we embrace renewable energy rather than relying on non-renewables. For example, Hydro-Québec examined 22 major North American cities’ residential hydro bills: 11 in the US and 11 in Canada. The top six cities with the lowest hydro bills were Canadian. Further, many energy analysts advocate that renewables (i.e., wind, solar) are now just as cost effective when producing a kilowatt of clean energy as fossil fuels. And with electricity being the best option for clean energy, embracing electric heating is an investment in the future.

Typicallybaseboards used to need 10 watts to heat each square foot of a room. With proper insulation and airtight homes, that number is now roughly 7 watts per square foot. Also, ensuring correct placement and distribution of baseboards can ensure even heat throughout the home, and using a central control system rather than individual thermostats on each heater can cut costs and increase overall performance.

Beyond that, new baseboards have model variants that effectively heat better than traditional resistance baseboards. For example, convector baseboards direct air up rather than out so there is less chance of obstruction blocking heat. These baseboards can even be placed behind furniture if the user’s preference is to have the heater out of site.

Finally, it needs to be noted that some disagreement remains among experts with regard to the efficiency and future of baseboards, as many prefer to advocate for natural gas heating, which is currently the primary form of heating in North American homes. However, gas, oil and coal are not renewable. While fracking has allowed us to access natural gas on a level previously thought to be beyond our grasp, this too has an impact on the environment and will eventually run out. The best option we have for a sustainable future is renewable energy.

So, there is more to consider when thinking about using electric baseboard heating than simply the cost. Therefore, baseboard heating is not only still relevant, but advances in technology have made them quite efficient and one of the few potentials capable of carrying us into a future that will be more focused on clean energy.

Owen Hurst is Managing Editor of EIN’s sister publication, Panel Builder & Systems Integrator: http://panelbuildersystemsintegrator.ca

Photo: Convectair

Sources

http://www.hydroquebec.com/residential/customer-space/account-and-billing/understanding-bill/comparison-electricity-prices.html

 

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Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

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CSAClimate change and its associated impacts will play a central role in Canada's electricity future. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that approximately $347.5 billion will need to be invested in electricity infrastructure to maintain the system reliability we have today. Making smart investments now can improve the system and help to avoid more severe climate related costs in the future.

“The critical infrastructure we rely on to power our daily lives must remain resilient to more damaging and frequent extreme weather events,” says Mary Cianchetti, President of Standards at CSA Group. “Standards play a critical role in making that happen.

Read more about climate change solutions...

 

 

 

BCEA Victoria Trade Show

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This will be a table top trade show. Distributors have agreed not to hold their own tradeshow three months on either side of this date to ensure a successful event.

 

 



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Copper $US Dollar price per pound


 

EHRCIn a recent interview with the The National Post, Electricity Human Resources Canada CEO Michelle Branigan said the need for workers in Canada’s electricity industry is “extremely critical.”

The industry directly employs almost 107,000 people, but less than 1 in 20 is aged 25 or under, only 1 in 4 is a woman, and just over 1 in 10 is from a visbile minority.

These statistics are from EHRC’s Workforce in Motion, a labour market intelligence research initiative for the years 2017-2022. The research report is a planning and informing tool for a wide range of electricity sector stakeholders and provides critical information to the sector for both short and long term resource planning.

Read More

 

 

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