Government of Canada Launches Strengthened Heat Pump Program with Nova Scotia, Addressing Affordability and Climate Goals

News release

February 20, 2024        Dartmouth, Nova Scotia               Natural Resources Canada 

Home heating oil is costly — not just for your pocketbooks, but also for the planet. Making the switch to an efficient heat pump can help Canadians save thousands of dollars each year on their energy bills and reduces household pollution. The benefits of switching to a heat pump are clear, and the Government of Canada has been bringing these benefits to Canadians through the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) program.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources; the Honourable Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables; and Stephen MacDonald, President and CEO of EfficiencyOne, announced that Nova Scotia will co-deliver the strengthened OHPA program, in partnership with the federal government to make the shift to heat pumps even more affordable for more Canadians.  

Under the program, low-to-median-income households in Nova Scotia that heat their home with oil can now apply here to receive up to $30,000 in funding to cover the full cost of switching to a heat pump — including up to $15,000 from the Government of Canada’s OHPA program and up to $15,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia, with EfficiencyOne acting as the co-delivery partner. Making the switch can help save thousands of dollars on heating bills every year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canadians’ strong demand for home energy upgrades creates a strong demand for green jobs, a skilled workforce, and the materials to enable them, strengthening Canada’s economy.

In addition to these increased grants, OHPA applicants will also soon be receiving an upfront, one-time payment of $250 from the federal government. This applies to all eligible applicants who heat their homes with oil and sign up for a heat pump through OHPA in a co-delivery jurisdiction going forward, as well as all those who have signed up since April 1, 2023.

The Government of Canada is currently working to make heat pumps even more affordable for more Canadians across the country through the co-delivery of the strengthened OHPA program with other provinces and territories, which will help Canadians save money at home while addressing climate change. In jurisdictions without federal-provincial/territorial co-delivery arrangements, oil-heated households have been and will continue to be able to apply for up to $10,000 in federal OHPA funding via the national portal, managed by Natural Resources Canada. The Government of Canada is keen and remains ready to develop and finalize strengthened OHPA co-delivery agreements with all provinces and territories that wish to bring these benefits to their residents.   


“Making the switch to more energy-efficient heating systems does not just save energy and reduce families’ carbon footprint — it also helps Canadians save on their utility bills. That is why we are strengthening the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program and ensuring that families are supported in making the switch from expensive heating oil to an efficient heat pump.” 

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“We know the cost of living right now is a concern for Canadians. This investment will help Nova Scotians reduce their heating bills by switching from oil and using green technologies, like heat pumps. That means more money stays in the pockets of families while keeping harmful emissions out of the air.”


The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We are committed to fighting climate change while making life more affordable for Canadians. Today’s launch of a strengthened Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program will help Nova Scotian homeowners buy and install a heat pump and, in turn, lower their energy bills, effectively free of cost.”


The Honourable Sean Fraser

Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities

“Making the switch from oil heating to electric heating sources like a heat pump can help you save thousands of dollars on energy bills and reduces emissions. Today’s announcement of a strengthened Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program will help ensure that Canadian households who need it the most have access to clean, reliable and affordable electric heating options.”

Andy Fillmore
Member of Parliament for Halifax

“We’re helping Nova Scotians get off expensive oil heat by strengthening the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program. This announcement will help so many folks afford to keep their homes nice and warm in the winter and cooler in the summer — with more money in their pockets!”


Darren Fisher 
Member of Parliament for Dartmouth–Cole Harbour

“Affordability is top of mind for all Nova Scotians right now, and the cost of heating your home with oil is high. This funding will help Nova Scotians make the move to heat pumps so they can save their hard-earned dollars while helping the environment.”

The Honourable Tory Rushton
Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, Government of Nova Scotia

“We are pleased to be co-delivering the OHPA grant with NRCan. These increased investment levels will help Nova Scotians do even more as they transition away from oil and provide certainty for industry to grow and plan for the future.”

Stephen MacDonald

President and CEO, EfficiencyOne

Quick facts

  • Heat pumps are two- to three-times more efficient than oil furnaces. The fact that heat pumps simply move heat, rather than generate it, is a large part of why they are more efficient and less costly than alternatives.

  • The average Canadian home that uses heating oil spends $2,000 to $5,500 on energy bills per year, depending on the province or territory — making it the most expensive heating option. Homeowners who switch from an oil furnace to a cold-climate heat pump could save approximately $1,500 to $4,500 per year on their home energy bills.

  • In Canada, oil furnaces and boilers generate around three million tonnes of CO2 every year — the equivalent of pollution from approximately 920,000 cars. Oil combustion in heating systems also generates nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and fine particles that can be harmful to human health and the environment.

  • In June 2023, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) announced up to $60.5 million funding through its Recapitalized Low Carbon Economy Fund to support lower-income Nova Scotian homeowners’ move from home heating oil to more affordable low-emitting heating technologies, like electric heat pumps. 

  • Since ECCC’s announcement, nearly 1,400 mini split heat pumps have been installed as part of Efficiency Nova Scotia’s HomeWarming program, and an additional 2,500 customers have been approved to have their installations occur in the coming weeks and months. This program expects to serve 10,186 qualifying low-income homeowners in Nova Scotia.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Carolyn Svonkin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada

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