Canadians are being encouraged to tap into a new federal grant program to fund the purchase and installation of an energy-efficient heat pump. Through the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, eligible low- and median-income homeowners who are currently heating their homes with oil can register to receive an upfront payment of $10,000 to help make the switch. That amount includes up to $5,000 from the Canada Greener Homes Grant.

The program, which launched on April 1, is designed to “help Canadians keep more money in their pockets” as inflationary pressures continue to loom.

“Electricity is the cheaper, greener, and more reliable way to heat your home. We want more people to make the switch from oil to electric heat pumps so their heating bills are lower -- that’s why we’re helping to cover the cost," said Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan in a news release published Friday.

The grant money can be put towards any necessary electrical and mechanical upgrades required in relation to the heat pump installation, including the safe removal of an existing oil tank, the installation of a backup electric heating system, and the switching over of other oil-using household systems, such as a hot water heater. Installation of the pump must be completed within six months of receiving the upfront payment.

Those who already receive money for a heat pump as part of the Canada Greener Homes Grant or Canada Greener Homes Loan are not eligible for the program.

Although the program is being rolled out Canada-wide, residents of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island must register through their respective provincial portals. Residents of all other provinces can register online through the Canada Greener Homes Initiative.

For more information on the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, and a full list of eligibility requirements, Canadians are urged to visit the Government of Canada website.