Saanich Re-Opens Heat Pump Financing Program after Successful Pilot

August 30, 2023

News release
For immediate release

Saanich, BC – Saanich has re-opened its Heat Pump Financing Program today, following a successful pilot phase of the program last year.

The program offers up to $12,000 of interest-free financing to residents who replace their oil, natural gas or propane furnace or boiler with an electric heat pump.

This innovative program enables residents to repay the financed amount over ten years through an additional levy on the home’s property tax payments. It was the first of its kind in B.C. when it launched in partnership with the District of Central Saanich in the spring of 2022. The program is designed to address the up-front cost barrier of a heat pump for homeowners while taking climate action by drastically reducing participants’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving their resilience through the addition of cooling.

To improve access for low and moderate-income households, 50% of spaces are reserved for income-qualified participants. These households can also access up to $9,500 in incentives for a heat pump and $3,500 for an electrical service upgrade from the Province’s CleanBC Income Qualified Program.

“We are really excited about the positive impact that our Heat Pump Financing Program is having for our income-qualified participants,” says Maggie Baynham, Senior Sustainability Planner and program lead, “because between the CleanBC and Saanich Programs, most of these households do not have to pay a penny of the upfront capital cost to get their heat pump installed”.

A survey of participants who have completed the pilot program has found a high degree of satisfaction, both in terms of the program itself as well as the support and communication received throughout their participation. “This whole program has been such a pleasant surprise,” says T. MacLean, a senior and long-time Saanich resident. “The personal touch that you guys have all put on this, it’s just amazing to me. I couldn’t be more grateful.” Many noted the 0% interest financing made the program stand out, and that it made the upgrade more affordable.

Saanich’s newly adopted Building Retrofit Strategy estimates that nearly 6,000 single family homes must switch from oil and natural gas heating to electricity by 2030 in order to meet the District’s short term climate targets. However, local governments such as Saanich are restricted in their ability to offer large scale financing programs such as this due to legislative restrictions at the provincial level. “We’re continuing to offer the Heat Pump Financing Program so residents have the support they need to take climate action”, says Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock. “We hope to demonstrate that this tool is meaningful and effective, and encourage them to make the legislative changes necessary to scale up.”

Quick facts

  • This program intake has a total of 57 spaces available, with 29 spaces reserved for income-qualified households.
  • The deadline for the current intake is October 15, 2023. If spaces remain, a second intake will be scheduled in early 2024.
  • Of the households in the program to date, participants reported spending an average of nearly $2,500 to heat their homes with oil heating and are likely to save hundreds of dollars per year in energy bills.
  • While natural gas heated households are new to the program, a recent study led by the District of Saanich found that homes reduced their energy bills by 10% on average when replacing their gas heating with a heat pump. More info at
  • A registration survey conducted throughout the pilot found that 29% of participants were not considering replacing their fossil fuel heating at all, and the Program was a significant contributor to their decision. A further 31% of participants reported that the Program accelerated their decision to replace their oil heating, while another 21% stated that with the help of the Program they could now afford to undertake complementary energy upgrades such as insulation or windows.
  • Cities across Canada are offering financing programs with the support of federal dollars and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Community Efficiency Financing Program. Municipalities in B.C. are restricted in their ability to access this funding due to legislative barriers at the provincial level.

Learn more

Find out more about the Heat Pump Financing eligibility requirements and steps to participate at

Participants are also strongly encouraged to sign up for the complementary Home Energy Navigator program, which offers free expert support throughout the retrofit journey for residents in the Capital Region.

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Media contact:
Kelsie McLeod
Communications Manager