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Dual-energy: a green and economical heating solution for Pamplemousse Childcare Centre

To reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and operating costs while extending the life of its existing natural gas boiler, Quebec City’s Pamplemousse Childcare Centre decided to convert to dual-energy—and the results speak for themselves.


With an eye to the environment and the future, Pamplemousse Childcare Centre was looking for a new heating and hot-water system (about 7,500 m3 annually) that was both green and affordable. So the Centre hired Daniel Gagnon, an engineer and energy manager with the City, who lost not time in steering them towards dual-energy.

A clear process well in place

After checking with Énergir’s representative and the DATECH team to make sure the Centre met the technical prerequisites for the Commercial and Institutional Dual Energy (CI) Tariff and was eligible for dual-energy conversion grants, Gagnon got the green light from the Centre and started working in May 2023.

As a City of Quebec engineer with an owner-contractor’s licence, Gagnon could do the job himself without subcontractors. “Daniel had done his homework and had the file down pat, so he handled everything from A to Z,” says Pierre-Olivier Nadeau, Energy Technology and Solutions Advisor at Énergir who was consultant on the project.

Use energy better and save

While the initial cost ($43,000) of the new 54 kW electric boiler was prohibitive for the Centre, getting $42,920in government grants turned the decision to go with dual-energy system into a slam dunk. Since the natural gas boiler used by the Centre was still working fine, it wasn’t replaced and can be amortized over a longer period thanks to dual-energy, since it will only be used during peak demand periods or when the temperature is -12 °C or colder.

A radical change

After some adjustments and optimisation of controls, as well as a simulation of the switch to the gas boiler to make sure the dual-energy system was working, it went into service at the beginning of November1, with convincing results (see comparative table). In its first three months of operation (November, December and January), there’s been a dramatic drop in natural gas consumption, with a corresponding drop in GHG emissions (5.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent) and natural gas savings of 3,046 m3.


Expected Consumption [m³]

Actual consumption [m³]

Reductions [m³]

GHG reductions (tonnes CO2e)







1 100


1 063


1 355


1 246


The DATECH group: added value to your efforts

Dual-energy uses the right energy, at the right time, and at the best cost, and Énergir’s DATECH team is there to provide you with the expert advice and technical support you need to make sure your customers have everything lined up for their energy conversion and get all the funding they’re entitled to. For more information, contact us at [email protected]

1. Note that this was a pilot project and was delivered before the Commercial and Institutional Dual-Energy Offer went on the market in November 2023.