When discussing alternatives for home heating, heat pumps typically take center stage in Nova Scotia. There is a second type of technology that drastically cuts your homes electrical costs and works very well either on its own or in conjunction with a heat pump. That technology is Electric Thermal Storage (ETS).
ETS allows your home to convert over to Nova Scotia Powers Time of Day Metering program. Under this program, your home qualifies for almost half price power during certain times of the week.
The times where you receive discounted power are,
- 11 PM to 7 AM Monday to Friday
- 11 PM Friday until 7 AM Monday (so all weekend)
- All national and provincial holidays
This program is more for electrically heated homes than oil heated homes. We have completed many whole home conversions from oil to electric and utilized ETS and time of day metering to reduce the monthly cost of electricity for the home.
How Does an ETS Save you Money?
ETS systems create heat through resistance, the same as an electric baseboard.The savings come in how these systems store heat.
Inside an ETS unit is ceramic bricks designed to be heated up and store heat for long periods of time. During the evening hours, when you have a discounted power rate, the elements turn on and heat up the ceramic bricks.
By morning time, when the power rate increases, the bricks are hot and ready to emit heat for the day and keep your space warm.
This process cuts your heating costs in half since you’re spending half the electricity cost at night to create the same amount of heat and then emit it slowly during the day.
Where are ETS units Typically Installed?
While an ETS unit can be installed in any part of the home we most often install them on the lower basement level (e.g. rec room). This is because air conditioning isn’t required in that area of the home during summer, so a heat pump would only be used for heat.
The number of ETS units you require will depend on the square footage of the space. During a 30 minute assessment with one of our Home Energy Specialists, we can determine what your home requires.
How does a Heat Pump fit into this?
A heat pump is more efficient than an ETS unit, however, it does nothing to help out the overall cost of electricity for your home. Installing both an ETS unit and a heat pump will actually result in even bigger savings from your heat pump.
A heat pump is three to four times more efficient than an electric baseboard. When you run a heat pump on Nova Scotia Power’s time of day metering program you actually double that to six to eight times as efficient.
This means, even more, additional savings from your heat pump during the lower cost electricity times. During the daytime hours, you’re still going to be enjoying the most efficient form of heat production possible.
Are there additional Savings?
There definitely is. When we install an Electric Thermal Storage system in your home we also include a timer for your electric hot water tank. The timer turns your hot water tank on during the low-cost hours and shuts it off during the daytime hours. This cuts the cost of your hot water production in half, as you’re shifting the electrical usage to the nighttime.
While not required to enjoy big savings you can do your laundry on weekends or run your dishwasher overnight. Both of these changes will shift even more of your electrical use to the evenings.
How much do Homeowners Save?
With a heat pump and ETS combo, it’s possible to cut your entire home electricity bill by as much as 50%. So if you’re currently spending $3500 a year you could be looking at up to $1750 in savings for as little as a $6000 – $8000 investment.
What’s the next step?
Give us a call or submit the form on this page to setup a 30-minute in-home assessment and discussion about heat pump and ETS heating solutions. We’ll answer all of your questions as well as provide you with a detailed quote to complete a heat pump and ETS upgrade to your home.