Cutting pollution and making life more affordable: Government of Canada investing up to $87 million to switch to cleaner energy in Newfoundland and Labrador
June 29, 2023 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Canadians are calling for action to fight climate change in a way that will build a strong economy, keep life affordable, and ensure clean air for our communities.
Today, Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Newfoundland and Labrador, announced a federal investment of up to $87 million from Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program to increase energy security and support climate action, building a strong economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing up to $70.3 million toward both initiatives.
The Low Carbon Economy Fund funding will be divided into two parts:
- Up to $17.3 million for provincial Home Heating Oil Transition programming to enable low-income households to transition from home heating oil to low-emitting technologies, like electric heat pumps and electric furnaces.
- Up to $35.9 million for provincial initiatives that support Canada’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and align with Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The additional $33.8 million in funding will be provided as part of the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, in which eligible homeowners with low-to-moderate incomes can receive up to $10,000 in federal support when combined with funding available from the Canada Greener Homes Grant. These two programs have supported the installation of over 10,000 heat pumps in Atlantic Canada, including over 2,500 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Low Carbon Economy Fund has already supported projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, from fuel-switching from oil heating to electric boilers, to energy-efficiency improvements in low-income homes, schools, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
“Electricity is the cheaper, greener, and more reliable way to heat your home. We've already helped 2,500 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians make the switch from oil to electric. But we want more people to make the switch and lower their heating bills, so we’re helping to cover the upfront cost.”
– Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East
“The Government of Canada is helping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians save money on their utility bills while enhancing their home’s energy efficiency. Today’s investment builds on the progress of our Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program and the Greener Homes Initiative, which have supported thousands of Canadian households to make the switch to an electric heat pump.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
“In Newfoundland and Labrador, we know that reducing carbon emissions means a cleaner, stronger economy for everyone. It is through initiatives like the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, and the Greener Homes Grants Program, that we are supporting the switch to clean and affordable energy. The programs we announced today are not only about reducing carbon emissions, but they are also about creating good jobs, protecting affordability, and diversifying the skilled workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
– Yvonne Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Northern Affairs
“We’re pleased to implement a new program such as this one, that not only furthers our Government’s commitment to a green transition, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but also enables economic development opportunities. These multi-year initiatives will create greater labour certainty to trades people across several industry sectors, while directly supporting Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in making environmentally conscious choices aimed at reducing overall living costs.”
– The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada launched the Emissions Reduction Plan in 2022, laying out steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan provides renewed and enhanced Low Carbon Economy Fund funding, including a Leadership Fund that will continue to support climate action taken by provinces and territories, with a focus on deploying proven, low-carbon technologies.
The Government of Canada has committed approximately $2 billion in additional funding to the enhanced Low Carbon Economy Fund in Budget 2022.
The Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program was first introduced in November 2022 as a $250 million investment in a new stream to add to the existing Canada Greener Homes Initiative. On February 22, 2023, the program was opened to pre-registration and was fully launched in late March 2023, with the first grants being issued shortly thereafter.
On average, homeowners who switch from oil to cold-climate heat pumps to heat their homes would save between $1,500 and $4,700 per year on home energy bills.
The new Low Carbon Economy Fund will support climate action by Indigenous peoples with a new $180 million Indigenous Leadership Fund to invest in clean energy and energy-efficiency projects led by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and organizations.
In Atlantic Canada, the federal government’s Greener Homes Grant and Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program have supported the installation of 2,342 heat pumps in Nova Scotia; 2,525 in Newfoundland and Labrador; 5,422 in New Brunswick; and 470 in Prince Edward Island.
Heat pumps are a proven and reliable technology in Canada, capable of providing year-round comfort control for a home by:
- Heating it in the winter
- Cooling it in the summer (heat pumps, despite their name, can also act as air conditioners)
- In some cases, heating water.
Heat pumps are one of the best ways for homeowners to save money on energy bills and fight climate change. When compared with other electric home-heating sources, they are also two to three times more efficient, meaning greater savings for homeowners and reduced energy intake for utilities and grids.
The heat pump can also provide cooling by transferring warm, indoor air to the outside. The energy provided by the outside air is free: consumers only pay for the electricity used by the compressor.
Cold-climate air-source heat pumps have been designed to work in lower temperatures well below freezing, and can now work down to minus 30 °C temperatures. This is possible because there is thermal energy available in the air, even in very low temperatures. For example, air at minus 18 °C still has 85 percent of the thermal energy as air at 21 °C. These systems are also capable of switching to a cooling mode.
- The Low Carbon Economy Fund
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan—Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy
- Budget 2022—A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable
- Making Home Heating More Affordable for Atlantic Canada and Other Regions
- Budget 2023: A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future
- Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
- Canada Greener Homes Initiative
- Making Home Heating More Affordable for Canadians While Fighting Climate Change
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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