Ottawa announces $250 million for residential heating, especially in Atlantic Canada

Federal Environment Minister Stephen Gelbolt said about $120 million of the funding will go to the four Atlantic counties. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA — Federal Environment Minister Stephen Gilbolt on Thursday announced $250 million over four years to help Canadians with home heating, about half of it for Atlantic Canada.

Guilbeault says about $120 million in funding will go to the four Atlantic counties, which has raised concerns about energy costs associated with Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan.

The federal government says that with a focus on low-income families, the funding will help homeowners use oil switches to environmentally friendly sources such as electric heat pumps.

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He says initial estimates show the funding could help 10,000 to 25,000 homes across the country, and more than 40% in Atlantic Canada.

Funding will be made available to the provinces and territories, which can then be used to expand or expand existing energy efficiency programmes.

In a press release, Guilbeault said the money will help Canadians save thousands of dollars on their annual energy bills while fighting climate change.

“We have promised Atlantic Canada more assistance to mitigate household energy cost challenges, and we are delivering on that promise with today’s announcement,” the minister said.

According to the government, approximately 30% of homes in Atlantic Canada currently use fuel oil for heating.

It says that by taking advantage of a range of funding programs from various levels of government, some families can see up to 100% of their eligible expenses covered, including up to 75% covered by federal programs.

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The four Atlantic prime ministers wrote to Gilbolt on September 1 asking for an extension of the federal deadline for submitting new carbon pricing plans, but the request was denied.

They have submitted plans by the September 2 deadline, but have requested talks with Guilbeault’s office to meet their hopes of a “workable solution” to address the costs of implementing carbon pricing in times of inflationary pressure.

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