In Canada, essential infrastructure, such as food production facilities, water management, energy production, storm sewers, homes and hospitals, is often designed and constructed according to the meteorological conditions which existed before the advent of climate change. As such, their inability to cope with conditions outside of their design specifications can lead to risks to the health of the population.
Heating degree days give an indication of the amount of space heating that may be required to maintain comfortable conditions in a building during cooler months. A threshold temperature of 17°C is used and for any day when the mean temperature is below this value, heating degree days are accrued. So, if the daily mean temperature on a given day is 10°C, then 7 HDDs are accrued for this day. HDD values are totalled over the year; the larger the HDD value the greater the requirement for space heating. For more information about the source data and figures, click here.