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St. Joachim’s Church in Pointe-Claire slashes natural gas consumption and GHG emissions by switching to dual energy

When St. Joachim’s Church in Pointe-Claire decided to replace an aging gas boiler early in 2023, the administrators of this West Island Montreal church initially wanted all-electric but ended up going with dual-energy after exploring its many advantages. A look back at a successful conversion.

“It was really an emergency situation. The old boiler was circling the drain and could have gone any minute,” says François Richard, Ops Manager at Énergir’s certified natural gas partner (NGMP) Actif, who recommended the Church switch to dual-energy and completed the conversion work.

The best of both worlds

The Church first contacted Actif to replace their natural gas heating with all-electric. But when Richard checked with Énergir about subsidies and the benefits of dual energy, he right away suggested the Church go that way, both to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to reduce energy bills, while continuing to use natural gas during peak demand.

A job well done

“As a heritage church building with its large volume, Saint Joachim’s Church was a perfect candidate for dual-energy,” explains Richard. “They were enthusiastic about the idea and jumped at the opportunity.” The work began in July 2023—first a 500 MBH Lochinvar Knight XL natural gas heating water boiler and a 99 kW Thermo 2000 Voltmax electric boiler were installed and connected, then Hydro-Québec upgraded the electrical service entrance and in September put in the new meter. After the last hookups, project delivery was accepted by the Church1 in mid-October.

Grants to facilitate conversion

The Church received a total of $57,191 in grants ($48,441 through the commercial dual energy component of the Government of Quebec’s Écoperformance program and $8,750 from Énergir’s energy efficiency program), an amount that took a massive bite out of the cost of converting to dual energy. Énergir’s sales team, as the aggregator, calculated and confirmed the amounts granted, which add another dimension to all the other arguments in favour of dual energy in commercial and institutional buildings.

Total grants received: $57,191

A success across the board

The certified natural gas partner also played a decisive role in the project by finding the best solution for the Church’s needs. The results speak for themselves, as we can see in the table below. Compared to previous years, the Church of St. Joachim’s natural gas consumption in the coldest months of the year (December, January and February) has been significantly reduced through dual energy. With the new system in place, the building could attain net zero with minimal impact on energy bills.


Expected consumption [m³]

Actual consumption [m³]

Reductions (m³)

GHG reductions (tonnes CO2e)


3 599


3 593



4 697


4 697


6 101




Projected annual natural gas reductions of

24,101 m³

Projected annual GHG reductions of

46.3 tonnes

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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.