Climate Friendly Homes

A climate friendly home is:

✅Energy efficient
✅Does not burn fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil for space or water heating or cooking

Wondering where to start to transition to an all-electric climate friendly home? Read below or visit the home incentives page for more information!



  1. What makes a climate-friendly home?

    A climate-friendly home:

    • Uses an electric heat pump for efficient heating in the winter and cooling in the summer 
    • Has an efficient electric hot water tank or heat pump hot water heater
    • Is well-insulated and draft-free for greater comfort and the lowest possible energy bills
    • Has an induction stove for fast, safe and cleaner cooking
    • Has no appliances or systems that burn fossil fuels, such as natural gas, propane or oil fireplaces
    • Has improved insulation, windows and doors, draftproofing and ventilation
  2. Why make the switch to an electric heat pump for space heating?

    • Efficient: A heat pump can be three times as efficient as a natural gas furnace or electric baseboards for heating, and up to 50% more efficient for cooling compared to a typical window A/C unit.
    • Save money: A heat pump saves you money on operating costs when switching from oil, natural gas, or electric baseboards.
    • Climate-friendly: if you use natural gas or heating oil, dramatically reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions by getting your home off fossil fuels and onto a climate-friendly heat pump that runs on renewable, low carbon electricity
    • Cooling: Heat pumps provide heating and cooling in one system! (Learn more about keeping your indoor air cool and clean during a heat wave or smoky sky event).
    • Protect local waterways: If switching from oil, you will eliminate the risk of a costly oil tank spill to your property and the environment
  3. What is a heat pump for space heating?

    Video (1:15 minutes): How do Heat Pumps Work?

    • Heat pumps work like a refrigerator does to concentrate and move heat from one space to another. A condensing unit extracts heat from the outside air. The heat is absorbed by a refrigerant, which is compressed to increase the temperature. Warm air is, then circulated through your existing duct work or by using indoor units to heat different zones in your home.

    Video (26 seconds) climate-friendly homes – home heating 

    • Learn about the benefits of heat pumps from this short video from the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.



    Web resource: Heat pumps (

    • Learn more about the types of heat pumps and how they work, factors to consider when choosing a heat pump, and try the heat pump cost calculator to see how much you can save!
  4. Will a heat pump save me money on heating bills?

    Since heat pumps are so efficient, you will likely save on your energy bills when upgrading from oil, natural gas, or electric baseboards, especially if your home has good insulation, air sealing, and windows and you don't use inefficient supplementary heating systems (such as gas fireplaces). See the Make the Switch page for more information about cost savingg when switching from gas heating to a heat pump, and this report from the Canadian Climate Institute. 

    Video (28 seconds) Heat Pumps Save Money

  5. What about noise from heat pumps?

    Guidebook: Heat Pumps and Noise: A Neighbourly Installation Guide [PDF - 1 MB]

    • This guide provides an overview of best practices for installing heat pumps to minimize noise, including how to determine an optimum outdoor location, select a quiet heat pump system, properly maintain your heat pump, and control and prevent noise travel (2 pages, City of Vancouver).
  6. What is a heat pump for water heating?

    Video (23 seconds) Climate-Friendly Homes - Hot Water Heater - YouTube

      • Learn about the benefits of electric water heating from this short video from the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.

    Consumer Guide: Heat Pump Water Heater 

    • This short guide from the Home Energy Navigator explains how heat pump water heaters work, their benefits, how to choose the right system for your home, and links to relevant incentive programs.
  7. What is an electric induction stove?

    Video (22 seconds) Electric Induction Stoves

    • Learn about the benefits of electric induction stoves from this short video from the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.

    Factsheet: Come home to high-efficiency cooking [PDF - 1 MB]

    • 2 page document from City Green Solutions about the benefits of an induction cooktop

    Avoid indoor air pollutants from natural gas stoves

  8. What is an electric fireplace?

    Factsheet: Come home to warmth and ambiance [PDF - 1 MB]

    • 2 page document from City Green Solutions about the benefits of electric fireplaces for zonal heating and ambiance
  9. Where to start for single family home upgrades?

    Home Energy Navigator Service

    Regardless of where you are in your home retrofit journey, there are plenty of free support programs and available incentives to help you take the next step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. The Home Energy Navigator provides free support along your retrofit journey, including:

    • A free virtual home energy consultation
    • Enhanced retrofit decision-making and technical support
    • Customized retrofit roadmap
    • Rebate navigation
    • Quote reviews
    • Free retrofit resources, testimonials and special offers such as webinars and workshops

    Do I have enough electricity service? 

    Service upgrades might not be required thanks to load sharing, circut pausers, smart electrical panels, and other approaches. Check out this Building to Electrification Coalition web resource for helpful tips. 


  10. Where to start for multi-unit residential building upgrades?


    Video (3:54 minutes) Top 10 Tips for Heat Pump Bylaws for Stratas

    • Prepared by Vancouver Island Strata Owner’s Association (VISOA), this video is a quick guide to for strata corporations on how to prepare for heat pump requests from residents, including electrical panel upgrades, noise levels, indemnity agreements, alterations approvals, and more!


    Case Study: Heat Pump in a North Vancouver Condo


    Video (55:55 minutes) Cooling Systems for Strata Owners VISOA

    • Hosted by Vancouver Island Strata Owner’s Association (VISOA), guest speakers Christy Love and Grant Liang of RDH Building Sciences Ltd. review solutions to overheating, including heat pumps, rooftop units, things for strata councils to consider (aesthetics, energy performance, electrical service capacity, noise), passive measures to keep your building cool, and more.

    Heat Pump Retrofit Guide for Strata and Co-op Buildings 

    • This guide outlines nine steps to a successful heat pump installation for co-ops and stratas (11 pages, City Green Solutions and the City of Vancouver, 2022).

    MURB Retrofits: Opportunities for Electrification [PDF - 3 MB]

    • This guide provides an overview of electrification options in multi-family buildings. The summary report by FRESCo Building Efficiency for Landlord BC (7 pages) was written with rental apartments in mind but is relevant for stratas and co-ops as well. It outlines the benefits and challenges, specific considerations, estimated costs, and potential emissions reductions of different electrification upgrades in multi-family buildings.

    Designing Climate Resilient Multifamily Buildings 

    • This report assesses the implications of climate-induced warming on thermal comfort in multifamily buildings and identifies cost effective design measures to maintain thermal comfort in warming temperatures (158 pages, RDH Building Science, 2020).

    Future Climate Design for Multifamily Buildings

    • This report provides recommendations for defining thermal comfort and overheating risks in multifamily buildings; modelling risks; design strategies to mitigate overheating (mechanical and passive); and potential changes to BC Codes and requirements (49 pages, RDH Building Science, 2021).
  11. Did I hear a radio ad about Climate Friendly Homes?