Missed out on government funding to switch to electric heat? More cash is coming

Two women and two men stand in front of banners that read Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Liberal MP Joanne Thompson, provincial Environment Minister Bernard Davis, federal Rural Economic Development Minister Gudie Hutchings and federal MP Churence Rogers on Friday announced more money for a fund that helps people transition from oil to electric heat. (Mike Moore/CBC)

More money is coming to help residents of Newfoundland and Labrador transition from oil to electric heat. 

In St. John’s on Friday, the federal and provincial governments announced $24 million is being added to a provincial program that provides money for people to make the switch, and eligible homeowners will be able to receive money up front rather than pay out of pocket and be reimbursed.

“What it allows us to do is hit more people and give more generous grants to those individuals that need it the most, the most vulnerable, the people in the middle class or trying to make it to the middle class,” provincial Environment Minister Bernard Davis said Friday. 

“That’s a challenge that we’ve seen as a barrier in the previous programs because we needed the money up front. So this allowed us to do a little bit of a different program to allow those individuals to avail of that program.”

The money comes from the federal low carbon economy fund and is intended to transition 3,000 more homes in the province to cleaner and more affordable heating options. 

WATCH | The CBC’s Mike Moore breaks down Friday’s funding announcement:

More money is coming to help N.L. households transition off oil

More than 2,000 households in Newfoundland and Labrador have moved from oil heating to heat pumps, and the federal and provincial governments on Friday announced more cash to help more homes make the switch.

Eligible households will receive up to $22,000 to switch to a heat pump, electric furnace or electric boiler. Since the federal program’s inception in 2021 — with the provincial government co-delivering it since last year — 2,065 homes in Newfoundland and Labrador have moved from oil to a new electric heat sources, according to the government. That money is dived between both levels of government — $15,000 from the federal government and up to $7,000 from the province. 

The federal government has eased the program’s affordability criteria for the affordability program, reduced the proof of purchase requirement, expanded the list of eligible heat pumps and increased the income threshold to account for inflation. 

A man wearing a bright orange jacket fills up a heating oil tank outside of a home.
The new funding aims to move 3,000 households off oil heating. (CBC)

But as bookings begin to pile up, the wait-lists will get longer, so Davis is encouraging eligible homeowners to act quickly.  

“The province is building capacity every day. Installers are staffing up, for lack of a better term, building that infrastructure that they need for the longer-term program,” he said.

“Every month it’s getting better and better. I do say to people, get on the list as quick as you can. Get people into your home to evaluate it and get on their lists to get the work done. It does take some time but the benefits are very, very good from the investment that you’re going to make.”

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