Central Saanich is among the first communities in British Columbia offering residents a chance to cut their heating bills by paying for air-source heat pumps through their property taxes.
Central Saanich Coun. Niall Paltiel officially welcomed the first 19 homeowners, after council formally adopted the bylaw that offers eligible homeowners zero-interest financing through the municipality.
“We’re thrilled nineteen homes in our community are about to be converted to electric heat pumps and help our community reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said in a release. “It will also give these homes cooling power in the face of longer, hotter summers and decrease home energy bills.”
The program provides zero-interest financing of up to $12,000 to qualifying homeowners, who want to upgrade from oil heating systems to electric air-source heat pumps. Following installation, Central Saanich will directly pay program-approved contractors. Homeowners will repay the municipality through uniform payments over 10 years on their property tax bill with an annual maximum of $1,200.
Central Saanich had identified the installation of air-source heat pumps as one of the key actions in its climate leadership plan. While only 300 homes use oil for heating, those systems account for 16 per cent of residential building emissions and two per cent of total community emissions. Central Saanich plans to replace all of those systems by 2030.
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