Pace of Progress

Achieving the Necessary Momentum to Meet Canada’s 2050 Climate Goals in the Residential Building Sector
February, 2024

With 18% of Canada’s GHG emissions flowing from the building sector, and more than 77% of building emissions coming from combusting fossil fuels for space and water heating, a switch to non-emitting heating sources is needed to achieve the ambitious target of zero national greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As noted in The Transition Accelerator’s Pathways to Net Zero report, the replacement of fossil-fuel fired furnaces and boilers with electric heating equipment (electrification) is the most compelling pathway to widespread building decarbonization.

In the residential sector, more than 6 million or 40% of homes use electric heating, and more than 850,000 of those homes use heat pumps. Although Canadians’ adoption of heat pumps is already increasing, Canadian households are not on track to electrify their space heating by 2100, let alone by 2050. In this context, this report serves as a tool to understand the current state of adoption of heat pump technologies in the residential sector, and the rates of adoption that are needed to reach Canada’s 2050 goals.

The projections in this report do not reflect the impact of the current policy environment for building decarbonization. Instead, they show the rate of progress necessary to address the climate crisis. This assessment provides policy makers and advocates with a simple but powerful depiction of the rate of adoption required to achieve our climate targets, without prescribing specific policies to increase this adoption.

La version française de ce rapport sera disponible sous peu.

About the Authors

Aurélie Vérin

Aurélie Vérin

Senior Policy Analyst - Building Decarbonization Alliance

Aurélie is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Transition Accelerator, at the Building Decarbonization Alliance. She has held technical and expert advisor roles, managing and implementing numerous projects related to energy transition and decarbonization in the built environment, with governments, utilities and businesses.

Before joining the Transition Accelerator, Aurélie was a Senior Consultant at Econoler. She also worked for energy and services providers focusing on demand side management and on the development of commercial strategies and service offerings related to energy efficiency.
Aurélie holds a Bachelor of Science in agro-environmental engineering from ISA Lille, as well as a master’s degree in urban environmental management from Wageningen University.


Mathieu Poirier

Director of Policy – Building Decarbonization Alliance

Matt prides himself on translating research findings into actionable solutions that support the clean energy transition. He brings over 10 years of experience working with governments, utilities, and industry to decarbonize the built environment. Before this role, Matt held consulting roles at Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors and Deloitte and worked in industry and non-profit organizations focusing on green building design and legal analysis. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering and psychology from the University of Waterloo, in law, with specializations in environmental and business law, from Dalhousie University, and he also holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s University.


Vérin, A., Poirier, M. (2024). Pace of Progress: Achieving the Necessary Momentum to Meet Canada’s 2050 Climate Goals in the Residential Building Sector. Building Decarbonization Alliance. Version 1.0.