The District of Saanich has added a $150 incentive to the first 50 Saanichites who upgrade from an oil tank home heating system to heat pumps.
The grant can be combined with the province’s Provincial Oil to Heat Pump Incentive Program, which offers up to $1,700, and another $150 to the first 125 people who sign up from the Capital Regional District.
“This is a way for people to get into less risk, and heat pumps are far more efficient than oil furnaces,” said Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff, who chairs the CRD’s environmental services committee, and supports the program.
Oil tanks are not only inefficient and have a heavy carbon imprint, but are also well documented for causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in environmental damage in Saanich and the surrounding region.
To meet the Oil to Heat Pump Incentive Program requirements homeowners must install a qualifying, all electric central or mini-split heat pump and remove their oil tank and oil heating system.
There are an estimated 13,000 oil tanks still servicing homes in the CRD, Brownoff said.
The CRD and Saanich $150 subsidies go towards the initial cost for a home energy evaluation, which is usually around $450.
“It’s a great opportunity for residents to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on home heating bills,” Brownoff said.
Making the switch also eliminates the risk of costly environmental damage caused by home heating oil leaks, which has proven to be a major liability.
“I’ve been told one person in Saanich declared bankruptcy because of the cost of an oil tank cleanup,” Brownoff said.
To access the provincial funding, participants are also required to complete EnerGuide home evaluations before and after upgrades.
Visit oiltoheatpump.ca, crd.bc.ca and saanich.ca for more information.