Nova Scotia launches heat pump initiative


The Government of Canada is working to make heat pumps more affordable for more Canadians through its Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) program. Now Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to bring the program to its residents.

Under the program, low-to-median-income households in Nova Scotia that heat their home with oil can apply to receive up to $30,000 in funding to cover the full cost of switching to a cold climate heat pump; $15,000 of which comes from the Government of Canada’s OHPA program and up to $15,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia. Only cold climate heat pumps on this list are eligible. In addition to the funding going toward installation, it can cover the following:

  • electrical and mechanical upgrades required for the new heat pump;
  • safe removal and/or decommissioning of the oil tank;
  • installation of a back-up electric heating system (as required); and
  • switching over other oil-using household systems, such as a hot water heater (where necessary).

“Making the switch to more energy-efficient heating systems does not just save energy and reduce families’ carbon footprint — it also helps Canadians save on their utility bills,” said the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. “That is why we are strengthening the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program and ensuring that families are supported in making the switch from expensive heating oil to an efficient heat pump.”

In addition to these increased grants, OHPA applicants will also soon be receiving an upfront, one-time payment of $250 from the federal government. This applies to all eligible applicants who heat their homes with oil and sign up for a heat pump through OHPA. This will include those who have signed up since April 1, 2023.

Natural Resources Canada (NRC) estimates that heating the average Canadian home with oil is the most expensive option, costing $2,000 to $5,500 per year, depending on the province or territory. Homeowners who switch from an oil furnace to a cold-climate heat pump could save approximately $1,500 to $4,500 per year on their home energy bills, NRC said.

Heat pumps offer a few major advantages over oil including energy efficiency are health considerations. NRC reports that heat pumps are two to three times more efficient than oil furnaces. Additionally, oil furnaces and boilers generate around three million tons of CO2 every year in Canada, according to the NRC, the equivalent of pollution from approximately 920,000 cars. Healthwise, oil combustion in heating systems also generates nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and fine particles that can be harmful to humans and the environment.

Nova Scotia residents interested in the program may apply here.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: