Expanded heat pump program helps British Columbians save on home energy costs 

News release

The Government of Canada, British Columbia partner to make heat pumps and home energy efficiency upgrades more affordable

May 13, 2024 – Victoria, British Columbia

British Columbians are seeing firsthand the costly impacts of more frequent and intense extreme weather events fuelled by climate change. Reducing pollution and making life more affordable while building a strong economy is how we can ensure a secure, healthy future for everyone.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a federal investment of up to $103.7 million from Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) program to support climate action in British Columbia and help low- and middle-income British Columbians reduce their energy costs. They were joined by the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for British Columbia, and the Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for British Columbia, who announced an investment of up to $151 million from the Province of British Columbia toward this initiative.

Funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada will be used by British Columbia to provide grants to enable residents to switch their home heating systems from oil, propane, or natural gas to cleaner heating and cooling options. Funding will also enable building upgrades for low- and middle-income homeowners and tenants through the CleanBC Better Homes Energy Savings Program, which aims to support low- and middle-income households installing heat pumps and reducing their energy bills. Heat pumps also provide cooling in summer, protecting residents against extreme heat and replacing the need for separate air conditioners.

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

The funding announced today could help low- and middle-income applicants receive a total of up to $24,000 to cover the costs of a heat pump installation, including electrical upgrades. In addition to these increased rebates, successful Oil to Heat Pump Affordability applicants who make the switch from oil heating to an electric heat pump will also receive an upfront, one-time payment of $250 from the Government of Canada.

The CleanBC Better Homes Energy Savings Program also provides funding for home upgrades, such as the installation of energy-efficient windows and doors, insulation, and ventilation.

These programs will build a clean economy by facilitating 16,000 retrofits in low- and middle-income households, which are expected to reduce more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030—about the same as removing over 12,000 passenger vehicles from the road—and create over 900 full-time jobs. At the same time, the programs will improve affordability by improving energy efficiency and lowering monthly utility costs. Households that switch from fossil fuels to electric heat pumps for space heating can see energy savings of up to 80 percent.

Heat pumps are a proven 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), and in some cases, heating water.

Initiatives such as those announced today put Canada on the right path to making life more affordable and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


“Installing a heat pump or energy-efficient windows and doors in your home is one of the best ways to save on your monthly energy bills while reducing the pollution that causes climate change. The Government of Canada is committed to help British Columbians adapt to the costly climate impacts this province knows too well, while doing their part to affordably reduce carbon pollution, in close partnership with the provincial government.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Making the switch to more energy-efficient heating systems can help Canadians save thousands on their energy bills, reduce their energy use, and decrease their carbon footprint. That’s why we are strengthening the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program and ensuring that families are supported in making the switch from heating oil to efficient heat pumps.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“More and more British Columbians are ready to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy while making their homes more efficient and comfortable. 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.”
– The Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for British Columbia

“All people in British Columbia want to reduce their home energy costs and address the impacts of a changing climate—extreme weather, heat, and cold—which is affecting all of us. Through cost-shared programs like the CleanBC Better Homes Affordability Program, people have access to affordable energy upgrade options that create cleaner, healthier, more comfortable home environments. With these new investments, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce people’s monthly energy bills, and contribute to a secure and more affordable future for British Columbians.”
–The Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for British Columbia

“British Columbia's provincial rebate programs empower residents and businesses to transition to energy-efficient heat pumps, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions. These incentives not only cut energy costs, but also stimulate local economies by driving demand for installation services and manufacturing of green technologies. Ultimately, they foster a sustainable future while benefitting both individuals and businesses through improved comfort, affordability, and environmental stewardship.”
– Chelsea Brandt, General Manager, RedBlue Heating and Refrigeration

Quick facts

  • The Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program was first introduced in November 2022 as a $250 million investment in a new stream within the 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.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund supports provincial and territorial initiatives to reduce emissions. This can include support for households to switch from oil or natural gas to heat pumps and increase energy efficiency in their homes.

  • On average, homeowners who switch from oil to cold-climate heat pumps to heat their homes save between $1,500 and $4,700 per year on home energy bills.

  • The Government of Canada has Oil to Heat Pump Affordability co-delivery arrangements in place with Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and the agreement with British Columbia is expected by May 31, 2024. The Government looks forward to co-delivering the program with other provinces and territories soon.

  • The Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program has received nearly 14,000 applications to date nationally.

  • Under Budget 2024, the Government of Canada is taking numerous steps to make life more affordable for Canadians while addressing climate change. This includes the Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program, which will support the direct installation of energy efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low- to middle-incomes.

  • The number of households in British Columbia with heat pumps has increased by approximately 80 percent since 2017, from an estimated 142,000 to 254,000. In 2022, for the first time ever, the number of heat pumps shipped to British Columbia (37,800) exceeded the number of natural gas furnaces shipped to British Columbia (30,700).

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Senior Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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