HPAC Magazine

In B.C., Feds and Province boost support to get homes off of oil and gas

May 14, 2024 | By HPAC Magazine

Low- and middle-income earners and those in Northern B.C. can apply for grants to switch off of oil, natural gas or propane to heat pumps.

On Monday, May 13th, the B.C. provincial government together with the federal government announced an investment of almost $255 million ($103.7 million from the Feds and up to $151 million from the Province) to help low- and middle-income British Columbians reduce their energy costs and promote the shift to heat pumps.

Since 2017, the number of households in B.C. with heat pumps has increased by approximately 80%, from an estimated 142,000 to 254,000. And in 2022, for the first time, the number of heat pumps shipped to B.C. (37,800) exceeded the number of natural gas furnaces shipped to the province (30,700).

The new federal funding announced is coming from the Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) program to provide grants to enable residents to switch their home heating systems from oil, propane, or natural gas.

As part of the existing Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program, low- and middle-income applicants could receive a rebate of up to $16,000 to switch to heat pumps in homes currently heated with oil.

Now, with the addition of the Low Carbon Economy Fund, these changes will also apply to homes heated with natural gas and propane.

This is an increase in support of approximately 70% from British Columbia’s existing rebate program.

Those who are eligible and living in northern British Columbia can access up to an additional $3,000 toward the installation of a heat pump. Homes that require an electrical system upgrade can also qualify for a rebate of up to $5,000 to complete that work.

The government anticipates that these programs will apply to 16,000 retrofits in low- and middle-income households.

The Federal Government has Oil to Heat Pump Affordability co-delivery arrangements with provinces in place with Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and this new agreement with B.C. is expected to be in place by May 31st.





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