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Requirements for installing a heat pump vary depending on your electricity provider (BC Hydro or FortisBC), your primary heating fuel before the upgrade, the type of heat pump you want to install (mini-split or central system), and the efficiency ratings of the system.

For information on what rebates are available, see What rebate is available for upgrading to a heat pump?

General heat pump requirements:

  • Replacing or upgrading an existing or broken heat pump is not eligible for a rebate.
  • The heat pump must be installed by a licensed contractor with a valid BC business license for the trade applicable to the installation work.
  • Only air-source heat pumps are eligible for rebates. Geoexchange (ground-source) heat pumps are not eligible.
  • If the home is currently heated with electricity, the heat pump must replace a hard-wired electric heating system such as baseboards, radiant ceiling, radiant floors or forced air furnace. However, these systems do not need to be removed.
  • If the home is currently heated with oil, all oil heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned according to all relevant regulations and bylaws. If you are a resident of Northern BC (BCBC Climate Zone 6, 7A, 7B or 8) and currently heat your home with oil, please see the FAQ, Am I eligible for a heat pump rebate if it is combined with a gas, propane, or oil furnace as backup?
  • If the home is currently heated with natural gas, all gas heating equipment must be removed, decommissioned, or modified according to all relevant regulations and bylaws. For a Tier 2 central heat pump, an existing natural gas furnace air handler may be re-used if its model number is included on the AHRI certificate for the new system. For more information and additional requirements, please see the FAQ Am I eligible for a heat pump rebate if it is combined with a gas, propane, or oil furnace as backup?
  • See program terms and conditions for additional requirements.

 

Mini-Split Single Head Installation Requirements:

  • When converting from fossil fuel heating, the system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.3 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • When converting from electric heating, the system must have a SEER rating of 18 or higher, a HSPF of 10 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • If the home was heated primarily by fossil fuels (oil, natural gas or propane) prior to the installation of the new heat pump, all such fossil fuel heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • The indoor unit (head) must serve a main living area of the home.
  • Premises with a natural gas or propane fireplace are eligible if the fireplace is a secondary heating system.
  • Single head mini-split heat pumps cannot have a fossil fuel back-up system.

 

Mini-Split Multiple Head Installation Requirements:

  • The system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.5 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • If the home was heated primarily by fossil fuels (oil, natural gas or propane) prior to the installation of the new heat pump, all such fossil fuel heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • At least one indoor unit (head) must serve a main living area of the home.
  • Multi-head mini-split heat pumps cannot have a fossil fuel back-up system.

 

Central Heat Pump Requirements:

Tier 1 Central Heat Pump Requirements:

  • Only homes that are heated primarily by electricity provided by FortisBC or by fossil fuels are eligible for the Tier 1 Central Heat Pump rebate.
  • The system must have a SEER rating of 15, a HSPF of 8.5 or higher, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • A variable speed compressor is not required.

 

Tier 2 Central Heat Pump Requirements:

  • The system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.5 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.

 

Central Heat Pump Requirements – Tier 1 & Tier 2:

  • The system must have a maximum static pressure of 0.6” WC or higher. This information is available in the technical specifications of a heat pump system.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by oil before the heat pump upgrade, the heat pump must replace the oil heating system and all such oil heating equipment (tank, furnace or boiler, and associated infrastructure) must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by gas or propane before the heat pump upgrade and the heat pump is replacing the gas or propane heating system, all gas heating equipment (piping, appliances, fuel containers, vents and associated infrastructure) must be removed, decommissioned or modified in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by gas or propane before the heat pump upgrade and the heat pump is being integrated into a combination gas furnace/electric heat pump, all such gas heating equipment (piping, appliance, fuel containers, vents and associated infrastructure) must be modified in accordance with all applicable laws. Combination gas furnace/electric heat pump systems are only eligible, provided:
    • If the gas furnace/electric heat pump system has been installed after November 01, 2018, a heating and cooling load calculation is completed to properly size the system. See What are the load calculation requirements for heat pumps? For more information.
    • The thermostat, outdoor temperature switch-over control or equipment control board is set to the following region-specific temperatures for the duration of the product lifetime:
      • Switch-over temperature for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island regions: 0°C.
      • Switch-over temperature for the Southern Interior and Northern BC: -5°C;
    • The heat pump must be sized to ensure that it has the capacity to meet the Premises’ heat demand at or below the region-specific outdoor set-point.
    • The system, whether purchased as a whole new system or created by retrofitting an existing gas furnace, must have an AHRI certified reference number that shows the outdoor unit, indoor unit and furnace are a tested combination. An existing furnace air handler may be re-used if its model number is included on the AHRI certificate for the new system.