Letter writers say heat pumps are becoming more efficient.

Letter writers say heat pumps are becoming more efficient.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Heat pump technology improving

Letter writers respond to previous letter lamenting costs of electric heating

To the editor,

Re: Going from gas to electric won’t happen until costs are comparable, Letters, Feb. 23.

My wife and I moved over from the mainland about 13 years ago. Over there our 2,500-square-foot house was heated with gas. Since we moved into our present 2,600-sq.-ft. house over here we have been heating and cooling our home with a heat pump. Our heating bill has been more than cut in half, and that includes cooling during the hot summer months. In all those years our bi-monthly hydro bill never exceeded $400 during winter, including all other electricity-consuming appliances. Our average monthly cost calculated over a 12-month period is $116/month.

If your heat pump consumes $1,000 over a two-month period in the winter, it’s broken and runs most likely in electric emergency mode at all times. This is exactly what happened to us over the past holiday season. Following our consumption on B.C. Hydro’s website regularly, I could see a dramatic jump right away. It was very obvious, and yes, our bi-monthly bill approached $600 – a first.

In January, we installed our new, top-of-the-line heat pump. Since then our power bill is back to normal, or should I say even lower than it was before. You can check your actual consumption on a daily basis and even separate individual usage between the electrical element and the heat pump heating so you can see if you’re running on electrical only.

My recommendation would be for everyone who suspects their hydro bill is too high because of the heat pump should first of all verify the correct operation of the pump as well all other electrical appliances that consume energy in their house.

Reinhold Knabe, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Clean B.C., City of Nanaimo offer rebates for homeowners to update heating systems

To the editor,

Re: Going from gas to electric won’t happen until costs are comparable, Letters, Feb. 23.

The writer is understandably shocked at her hydro bill after our record cold snap. But to compare her heat-pump costs relative to natural gas only during the coldest weather is unfair. Try comparing the costs over the entire heating season. Most of the time, recent-model heat-pumps are cheaper.

Let’s consider the other costs: taxpayers subsidizing natural gas production and the cost to health from the resulting air pollution, heat domes, forest fires, floods and damaged roofs. Terminating the “archaic” Step 2 hydro rate would result in more wasted electricity, hence higher overall prices. When natural gas prices begin to reflect the true cost of production, distribution and pollution everyone will want to switch to heat pumps. The Step 2 rate will help us with that transition.

Lastly, as we have just been reminded, natural gas is highly explosive. So why not be safe by converting to heat pumps now and enjoy cooler homes during future heat domes?

Ian Gartshore, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Letters policy: Letters should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Preference is given to letters expressing an opinion on issues of local relevance or responding to items published in the News Bulletin. Include your address (it won’t be published) and a first name or two initials, and a surname. Unsigned letters will not be published.

Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7

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Letters to the editor