Thursday, June 20, 2024

British Columbians could get up to $24K for switching from oil heating to a heat pump


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As BC takes its first steps into another wildfire season and looks back on the devastating effects of climate change over the past few years, the government says it is looking forward and attempting to reduce its impact. 

On Monday, May 13th, the Province along with the federal government announced new funding to incentivize British Columbians to make the switch from using an oil-fuelled furnace to a heat pump. 

This will come in the form of up to $103.7 million from the feds to support climate action in BC and low and/or middle income people reduce their energy costs.

BC itself is kicking in $151 million to this initiative. 

“More and more British Columbians are ready to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy, while making their homes more efficient and comfortable,” said Josie Osborne, BC’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. 

“We are working to make electric heat pumps and efficiency upgrades more affordable for low- and middle-income households across the province, helping them to save on their energy bills and build cleaner, more resilient communities.”

This funding will allow people to receive grants to help them switch their home heating systems from oil, propane or natural gas to cleaner heating and cooling options.

The grants will be awarded based on the applicant’s income and could get a maximum of $16,000 to switch to a high-efficiency heat pump if their home is currently being heated with oil. 

This is an increase of around 70% from what those seeking to make the switch can currently get. 

In addition to that funding, those living in northern BC may get an additional $3,000 for installation and homes that need an electrical upgrade to make the switch can qualify for another rebate of up to $5,000.

Those who apply and qualify for the maximum amount will get $24,000 for switching to electric heating and cooling. 

BC predicts this program will reduce more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030. 

According to the Province, this is approximately the same as removing more than 12,000 passenger vehicles from the road, and will create more than 900 full-time jobs.

People who make the switch are also predicted to have tangible savings by up to 80%. 

“Heat pumps are a proven technology in Canada, capable of providing year-round comfort control for a home by heating it in winter, cooling it in summer and, in some cases, heating water,” said the Province in a media release. 

“Heat pumps, despite their name, can also act as air conditioners.”

Federal support

Laurel Collins, NDP MLA for Victoria and environment and climate change critic released a statement following the announcement of the program’s expansion. 

“Today’s announcement is long-overdue,” she said. 

“It provides relief for families in British Columbia with their home heating costs and helps them lower their emissions.”

Collins continued by saying this is an important step for her party and the BC NDP who would like to see these opportunities extended further, to all Canadians.

She says that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals give out handouts to oil and gas companies and the Conservatives don’t believe in climate change. 

Victoria Buzz Staff
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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