Wastewater energy is a low-carbon emission heating and cooling solution for buildings. It can eliminate or reduce the requirement to burn natural gas to operate conventional mechanical equipment by using the sewer as a source of renewable energy.
Warm wastewater originating from sources such as showers, laundry machines, toilets, dishwashers, and industrial processes constantly flow through the City’s sewer system. A large portion of the City’s sewer system contains a high wastewater flow rate at significantly high and constant temperatures that can be used as a renewable energy source for new and existing buildings. This is currently a largely wasted resource and the Wastewater Energy Program aims to help implement development projects that will recover this heat to use for heating or use it as a heat sink for cooling.
The Wastewater Energy Program will reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and support the City’s TransformTO climate strategy and target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040.
The Wastewater Energy Map is an interactive online map which shows the approximate heating and cooling capacities of sewers in the City that have the capacity for a Wastewater Energy project. Property owners and energy developers are encouraged to use the map to determine whether there is a potential sewer in the vicinity of their project(s) to use for heating and cooling purposes.