Building a Utility of the Future

MyHEAT joins with Saint John Energy to offer innovative tech to homeowners

At Saint John Energy, we are driven by a passion for innovation.

We’re on a mission to build the Utility of the Future for our customers. We want them to benefit from advanced products and services that make their lives easier and more comfortable.

That’s why we are excited to be able to partner with MyHEAT to offer them a bird’s-eye view of the heat they are losing from their homes – our Home Heat Saver program is a first for Atlantic Canada.

Perched on the edge of the Bay of Fundy, the historic port city of Saint John is Canada’s oldest incorporated city, having been founded in 1785. While quaint and beautiful, this means many of our customers live and work in older buildings – structures that often are difficult and expensive to heat.

Home Heat Saver is the result of a partnership with MyHEAT, Natural Resources Canada and the University of New Brunswick.

When Ryan Mitchell, vice-president at Saint John Energy, heard about MyHEAT a couple of years ago, he immediately recognized the potential.

“With the number of older homes in Saint John, we know many people struggle with heat loss,” he says. “We are always looking for ways to bring value to our customers and this project will help customers conserve energy and save money on their power bill.”

Ryan Mitchell, Vice President at Saint John Energy, during the MyHEAT data collection

Using the airborne thermal data collection technology offered by MyHEAT, Saint John residents are able to see where heat is leaking from their rooftops.

A free and confidential service available to most of our residential customers, Home Heat Saver enables homeowners to target areas of their home that could benefit from energy efficiency upgrades that will help them stay warmer, save on their energy bills, and help fight climate change.

Potential benefits significant

The benefits are significant. Our estimates suggest this project could result in potential energy savings in our community of 7,800 to 11,000 MWh.

We’re grateful to the pioneering efforts of MyHEAT, which aptly describes its technology as “making energy visible.”

Customers can log into their Saint John Energy accounts and view a private and personalized thermal image of their rooftops, allowing them to see where they are experiencing the most heat loss.

The thermal images, collected during a flyover orchestrated by MyHEAT in April 2019, show areas losing the most heat in red.

Giving customers the ability to see where heat is escaping provides them with a powerful tool in taking steps to make their homes more energy efficient and to save money on their electricity bills.

Depending on how much heat is escaping, homes are given a Heat Loss Score of 1 to 10, with those rated 6 to 10 presenting the most opportunities to improve their efficiency.

Home Heat Saver rolled out in October after a highly successful pilot project with nearly 50 homeowners in Saint John.

During that pilot, more than half – 54 per cent – discovered areas of their homes that were losing more heat than expected. A full 91 per cent said they were interested in having a home energy evaluation to further understand their home’s heat loss and opportunities to improve their efficiency.

‘A great opportunity’

Saint John homeowner Gary Grattan eagerly signed on to participate in the Home Heat Saver pilot program because he wanted to find out more about the energy profile of his almost 100-year-old, two-storey home.

“Heating is a big expense for me every year and I’m always looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of my home,” he told us. “Home Heat Saver is a great opportunity. I was surprised to see the red zones on my roof. I plan to add insulation to fix the problem.”

Saint John homeowner Gary Grattan accesses his personalized MyHEAT home profile

Among energy-saving upgrades, upgrading insulation and sealing air gaps ranked as the most likely improvements to be considered by homeowners participating in the pilot, with 60 per cent ranking these as their top choice. In contrast, only five per cent ranked solar panels as the energy-saving upgrade they were most likely to consider.

Among participants in the pilot, 56 per cent said that price drives their habits and behaviours related to energy at home. Nearly one in five said they are most motivated by climate change and environmental concerns.

We’re helping those with a high Heat Loss Score connect with rebate programs, efficiency services and innovative products to improve their home’s efficiency. Mr. Grattan says his home scored a 6, which he plans to improve with more insulation.

Forging a Utility of the Future

About 50 per cent of home energy bills are related to heating costs, so lowering that by even a small percentage would make a notable difference over time.

The Home Heat Saver program is just the latest example of Saint John Energy’s drive to innovate as it forges the Utility of the Future – expanding on an energy system for our city that’s modern and sustainable.

Partnering with an innovative company like MyHEAT shows how eager we are to employ the latest technology to give our customers an advantage in energy efficiency.

Saint John Energy is proud to be building on nearly a century of bringing new products and value to our customers. Home Heat Saver shows just how far we’ve come into this brave new world of advanced technology.

For more information, visit the Home Heat Saver web page or email homeheatsaver@sjenergy.com. To find out more about some of our other innovative programs and services, visit our Smart Energy Projects page.

For more information on how you can partner with MyHEAT to provide innovative technology to your customers, email solutions@myheat.ca.

Written by:
Ingrid Harris – Manager of Consumer Products at Saint John Energy

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