New federal affordability measures highlight the increasing need for a National Low Income Energy Efficiency Strategy
October 27, 2023 — Last night, the federal government announced additional funding to help Canadians make the switch from oil to heat pumps. Modifications to the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program will raise the maximum federal funding for eligible homeowners installing a heat pump from $10,000 to $15,000.
The program is Canada’s only policy that helps low-to-moderate income households access energy efficiency services.
“Expanding the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program recognizes the crucial role of energy efficiency in permanently reducing energy costs for countless Canadians struggling with high bills,” says Corey Diamond, Executive Director at Efficiency Canada. “But until the government implements a truly national low-income energy efficiency strategy, millions of people will continue to be left behind.”
Efficiency Canada has long advocated for a National Low-Income Energy Efficiency Strategy that ensures all Canadians can save energy, regardless of their income level, where they live, or the fuel they use for heat.
Limiting the program to heat pumps makes it more difficult to solve affordability problems. Insulation and air sealing are also needed in many homes to cut bills and deliver health and comfort benefits. And, limiting Canada’s only low-to-moderate income efficiency program to oil heating also leaves out the vast majority of Canadians who heat with electricity or natural gas and also struggle to pay their bills.
Efficiency Canada calls for an end to fragmented policies to reduce energy costs for those who need it most.
“To avoid the need for future emergency responses that weaken carbon pricing, we need a long-term, well-designed, energy efficiency program accessible to all low-income Canadians,” says Diamond.
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