Opt for central heating with electric thermal storage and receive $10,000 in financial assistance from Hydro‑Québec

Less well known in Québec, electric thermal storage (ETS) is a technology that has been in use for a number of years in areas where dynamic pricing is available.

Until June 30, 2023, Hydro‑Québec is offering financial assistance worth $10,000 to customers who have a central heating ETS system installed.

You could also receive an additional $5,000 if you install an ENERGY STAR® central heat pump, or other product on the list of eligible heat pumps [PDF 3.08 MB – in French only] under the Efficient Heat Pump Program, at the same time as your ETS system. (Please disregard the financial assistance indicated in this list)

The Québec government also offers financial assistance that could help lower the cost of replacing your oil or propane furnace. To learn more, visit the Chauffez vert website (oil and propane conversion section). You can check with your municipality for further incentives as well.

Who is this technology for?

Central heating with electric thermal storage is for customers wishing to replace their fuel‑burning central heating system with an electric one, as well as those who need to invest in a new system.

Eligibility criteria

  • Live in the province of Québec, in areas served by a certified Steffes installer. (List of Steffes authorized installers [PDF 136 kB])
  • Own a single-family home (detached/semi-detached/row house) or a plex in which the forced-air system serves only one unit.
  • Be the owner of the premises where the system is to be installed
  • Have a forced-air central heating system
  • Have an easy-to-access basement with a concrete floor
  • Be a Rate D or DT customer
  • Have a communicating meter
  • Have a Customer Space account on Hydro-Québec’s website

What is a central heating ETS system?

It’s a fuelless central heating system with the defining feature of storing heat in a thermal mass.

During peak demand events, the system is programmed to stop powering the electric elements and the house is heated by the accumulated heat in the bricks.

Duration : 1 minutes 37 seconds
Image of an electric thermal storage system with the components

Image of an electric thermal storage system with the following components:

  1. 1Exchanger for heat pump (optional)
  2. 2Insulation
  3. 3Thermal mass
  4. 4Electric elements
  5. 5Fan

What’s the difference between common heating systems?

Illustration of a central heating ETS system

When there is a demand for heat, this type of system draws on heat that’s been stored in a thermal mass made from high-density ceramic bricks. These bricks are heated to a high temperature using electric elements. However, during peak demand events, the system is programmed to turn off these elements and the house is heated using only the stored heat. Result? During these short periods, you stay cozy and warm while using a lot less electricity during peak periods.

What’s more, with dynamic pricing (Rate Flex D), you can lower your electricity bill by reducing your electricity use during peak demand events, without any sacrifice to comfort.

All about Rate Flex D

Illustration of a traditional electric central heating system

When the temperature drops to a certain point, the thermostat activates the electric heating elements and fan to heat the house. A significant amount of electricity must therefore be used to keep the air warmed.

Illustration of a dual-energy heating system

This type of system heats the air by drawing on two energy sources: electricity as the main source, and some form of fuel as the backup source. Most of the time, the house is heated when the thermostat activates the electric heating elements and fan. However, when the temperature reaches a specific threshold (based on the region), the system switches to the backup heat source, which runs on a fuel like oil, propane or natural gas. Since the electric heating elements are not in use at that time, you use much less electricity.