- Nova Scotia Canada - Government of Nova Scotia

Home > Economics and Statistics > Selected Daily Stats Article
For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

October 19, 2021

As part of the 2019 Survey of Households and the Environment, Statistics Canada surveyed Canadian households on the type of energy used primarily for residential heat as well as the type of equipment used as the main heating source.  

Residential heating energy source

Across Canada, natural gas was the most commonly used energy source for residential heating in 2019.  However, this was primarily in Ontario and the western provinces.  Natural gas made up only a small share of residential heating energy in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.  Nova Scotia's use of natural gas amounted to only 4% of residential energy.

Electricity was Canada's second most common source of residential heating energy in 2019.  This was notably higher in Quebec as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba and British Columbia.  Electricity accounted for just under a third (32%) of Nova Scotia's residential heating energy.

Unlike the rest of Canada, fuel oil makes up the largest share of residential heating energy in Nova Scotia at 36%.  Only Prince Edward Island (49%) depends more heavily on fuel oil for residential heating.  Across Canada, fuel oil makes up just 4% of residential heating energy, with very low usage in all provinces from New Brunswick to British Columbia. 

Although wood is a less common source of residential heating energy (3% of the national total), it is more commonly used in Atlantic Canada.  Including solid wood as well as pellets, 10% of Nova Scotia's residential heating energy is fuelled by wood.  

Residential heating equipment

The forced air furnace was the most common appliance used to generate residential heating across Canada.  Forced air furnaces made up 52% of residential heating equipment in Canada with notably higher shares in Ontario and Western Canada.  Forced air furnaces were used in 23% of Nova Scotia residences in 2019 and were less commonly used across Quebec and Atlantic Canada. 

Electric baseboard heaters amounted to 26% of Canada's residential heating equipment.  The share of electric baseboard heaters was higher in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.  In Nova Scotia 25% of residences used electric baseboard heaters.

Boilers with water or steam radiators were used in only 9% of Canadian residences, but this was higher in both Nova Scotia (20%) and Prince Edward Island (31%).

In Nova Scotia, 18% of residences used a heat pump as the primary energy equipment.  Heat pumps were also more widely used in the Maritime provinces than across the rest of Canada (5% share nationally).

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 38-10-0286-01  Primary heating systems and type of energy