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Heat Pumps for All is displayed within an icon of a heat pump. Underneath, the words safer, cheaper, cleaner are displayed

We are calling on MPs across Canada to champion a Universal Heat Pump Program, overseen by a new publicly-owned entity that produces, distributes, and installs heat pumps in homes across the country. With built-in tenant protections, this program would save lives, cut our bills, and protect the planet.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are heat pumps and why are they important?

Heat pumps are appliances that can heat and cool a home using electricity. By helping to replace furnaces that run on gas or oil, heat pumps allow us to reduce our reliance on toxic fossil fuels that pollute our homes and our planet. Since heat pumps also cool our homes during the summers, they can play a big role in keeping vulnerable populations healthy and safe during extreme heat.

The best part about all this is that a transition to heat pumps actually saves money in the long run. A universal program that includes renters and puts a heat pump in every home would ensure that every household in Canada can benefit from the increased safety and reduced energy bills. Read more here.

Can I really heat and cool my whole home with a heat pump?

There are a range of heat pump options, including cold climate heat pumps, so that buildings of different sizes and needs across the country can be effectively warmed and cooled with this versatile, energy efficient technology. Heat pump technology has been rapidly advancing to the point where, according to Efficiency Canada, “heat pumps alone can heat more than 90 percent of the time in Canada’s coldest cities.”

Heat pump efficiency can be improved in older buildings if accompanied by adequate insulation, but they outperform stand-alone fossil fuel systems even without wider retrofits. Read more here.

How do heat pumps save lives?

During the devastating BC heat dome in 2021, over 600 people died in just a week from the record-breaking temperatures. Over 90% were killed indoors, including many seniors, in homes without air conditioning. Heat pumps provide energy and cost-efficient cooling in the summer and are a life-saving technology, especially as heat waves become more extreme and more common due to fossil fuel-driven climate change. Everyone deserves to be safe in their home. Read more here.

How would heat pumps reduce emissions?

Buildings are the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Heat pumps are a critical part of the transition towards electrifying heating and cooling systems within buildings. In many cases, heat pumps will replace oil and gas powered heating systems.

Of course, a transition to heat pumps needs to be coupled with a transition to 100% renewable energy and fully phasing out oil, coal, and gas from electricity generation.

Although some provinces have dirtier grids than others, heat pumps lower emissions in all Canadian provinces because they are so energy efficient. The benefits will only increase as electrical grids shift to more renewable sources. Read more here.

How would this program reduce household bills?

While heat pumps increase electricity usage, they are an extremely efficient technology and radically reduce utility bills in most households because they often displace costly oil and gas powered heating systems. Research shows that almost all households in Canada would see significant net savings in making the switch. The savings will be even more dramatic once provincial and federal governments transition grids to wind and solar power, since these are now the cheapest ways to produce electricity.

How would this program benefit renters?

All of the current federal government heat pump incentive programs, and most provincial or regional ones, exclusively cater to homeowners, leaving tenants excluded from the cost-saving and health benefits of heat pumps. We are proposing a genuinely universal program so that tenants also benefit from having a free heat pump provided and installed in their homes or apartments.

We have also seen a disturbing trend of landlords using retrofits and ‘decarbonization’ efforts as a pretext to evict tenants and increase rents. This is unacceptable. We are proposing a program with built-in tenant protections to ensure that the installation of this lifesaving technology cannot be used to kick people out of their homes.

Why a new publicly-owned entity?

Our campaign is fighting for a new publicly-owned entity, like a Crown corporation or federal agency, that would be responsible for producing, distributing, and installing heat pumps in homes across the country. We need bold government action and investment in order to implement a Universal Heat Pump Program with the speed and scale required in this moment of crisis.

By setting up publicly-owned infrastructure, we could lower manufacturing and transportation costs, create good, green, unionized jobs in communities across Canada, and ensure that every single household has access to this life-saving technology.

How will the government pay for this program?

Everyone deserves to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer – a Universal Heat Pump Program would require substantial investment from the federal government to realize, but it is not a frivolous or optional expense. Government spending to ensure that every household has a heat pump would cut costs for regular people, while saving lives, increasing our resilience to climate change, and helping reduce carbon emissions in the long term. This is just the kind of bold federal action that we need to meet this moment of crisis! We know that federal leaders can spend what it takes to save lives and protect the climate. Read more here.

The government has lots of revenue options. The feds could and should divert the billions that they are wasting on military spending and unjustifiable subsidies to Big Oil, and implement progressive taxation on the billionaire class and the fossil fuel companies who created this crisis. The resources are there – it’s a question of political will.

What will this look like for workers?

Building a nationally-owned enterprise to run a Universal Heat Pump Program would create green, unionized public service jobs in communities across Canada. Tradespeople who currently work on pipelines could easily learn to install heat pumps, building on their existing expertise and supporting their livelihoods through a transition off fossil fuels. Workers who already work with heat pumps would be important contributors to this effort, leading training programs and helping to grow the workforce so it’s big enough to tackle the challenge of electrifying every home and building in the country. By establishing domestic production of heat pumps, instead of importing them, this program would also create good manufacturing jobs in Canada.