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Central Saanich pumps up efforts to fight climate change with heat conversion program

Municipality offers qualifying homeowners up to $12,000 through interest-free loan
Central Saanich has welcomed the first 19 homeowners participating in a program that allows them to convert their oil heating systems to heat pumps through an interest-free loan from the municipality. (Black Press Media file photo)

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.”

RELATED: Victoria’s heat pump incentive helps boost uptake, likely not needed anymore

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.

Staff are asking interested homeowners to contact or 250-652-4444. More information is also available at

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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