VICTORIA, B.C. – Demand for heat pumps in Northern B.C. is heating up, according to B.C.’s ministry of finance.

The provincial government announced the new Northern Residential Heat Pump Top-up Incentive on Monday, saying some homes could see up to $3000 in savings per year by installing heat pumps.

Though some newer heat pumps work in temperatures of -30 C., that does not cover the range of winter weather in B.C.

The new incentive, combined with existing rebates, allows for natural gas furnaces for backup heating. 

“The new northern top-up incentive include[s] all-electric systems and hybrid systems – dual fuel heat pumps which can be integrated with a natural gas furnace for backup heat,” the ministry said in a release. 

New technology in the last few years has made heat pumps, an environmental and efficient alternative to standard furnaces, a more viable option for colder climates, according to the province. They also assist with cooling and air quality in summer months. 

“Heat pump technology has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, allowing people in B.C.’s colder climates to benefit from the efficiency and savings associated with this cleaner option and reach strong emission-reduction goals,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “

There are heat pump options that will work for every part of the province.”

These cold-climate pumps carry an additional cost, but the provincial government intends to reduce that cost barrier and help northern communities and their residents swap their furnaces for heat pumps — and see the resulting decrease in both emissions and heating expenses.

Heat pumps also help British Columbians heat their homes with lower environmental impacts, according to Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston.

“British Columbians are looking to find ways to lower their carbon emissions and heat their homes without the harmful environmental consequences. Investments in technology like heat pumps are helping us reach those goals. We are taking a forward-thinking approach and building a cleaner, better future by installing this advanced technology.”

Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.