Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 26 October 2023:
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced measures to increase uptake of heat pumps, improve resilience and reduce energy poverty in Atlantic Canada. By strengthening the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, CAN-Rac is pleased to see the government bringing tangible benefits to low-income and rural Canadians, especially in the Atlantic – who are at highest risk of experiencing energy poverty and rely the most on oil for primary heating – at the same time as accelerating the energy transition.
“Climate action and affordability must go hand in hand,” said Alex Cool-Fergus, National Policy Manager at Climate Action Network Canada. “Canadians have been suffering from the volatile and rising costs of fossil fuels, and low-income households have been particularly vulnerable. Today’s announcement shows that moving away from fossil fuels can and must bring material benefits to Canadians.”
While fuel-switching from oil to heat pumps brings an average of $2,500 in savings for Canadians per year, it requires significant upfront costs that low-income households are not currently able to afford, regardless of the price signals sent by carbon pricing. By providing Canadians with a one-time rebate as well as making the average heat pump free for low-income households, the federal government is making the adoption of clean energy technologies more affordable and accessible.
“It is time for the government to get serious about putting the onus of climate action on the biggest polluters. The fossil fuel industry, which is generating record profits and producing outsized emissions, must pay its fair share,” added Cool-Fergus.
All levels of government – including the provinces – must continue investing in real climate solutions that help Canadians reduce their dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously improving quality of life. CAN-Rac looks forward to seeing more information about the total emissions and cost savings these measures will support.
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Manager