Media Contacts

Suntanu Dalal

Media Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines
250 952-0628


ICE Fund investments in home energy efficiency

The Government of British Columbia is investing $1.4 million from the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund to support a suite of programs that help homeowners reduce heating costs and greenhouse gas emissions and help building professionals by subsidizing training in the design and construction of high performance, energy efficient homes and buildings.

The ICE Fund is a legislated special account established in 2007 and is designed to support government’s energy and environmental priorities.

The ICE Fund receives funding through a 0.4% levy on the final sale of specified energy products: natural gas, fuel oil and grid-delivered propane. The estimated average impact of the levy on residential natural gas and propane customers is currently about 45 cents per month and about 66 cents per month for residential fuel oil customers.

Oil-to-Heat Pump Incentive Program ($600,000):

  • The Oil-to-Heat Pump Incentive Program provides a rebate of up to $1,700 for homeowners who convert from oil heating to an all-electric air source heat pump.
  • Upgrading from oil to an electric heat pump will reduce energy bills for a typical home by $1,300 to $2,700 every year, reduce household carbon dioxide emissions, and eliminates the risk of costly damage to soil and waterways from home heating oil leaks.
  • For a typical home, switching from oil to a central heat pump will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 6.8 tonnes and 7.99 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. That’s equivalent to taking more than one car off the road each year.
  • The program was launched in September 2015 with initial funding from the ICE Fund of $600,000. The additional $600,000 will ensure program continuity into 2018, targeting an additional 300 to 500 homes.
  • The Oil-to-Heat Pump Incentive Program is administered by City Green Solutions, a B.C.-based based, non-profit society that helps homeowners reduce household energy use and connect with energy efficiency grants and incentives.

Home Energy Coaching Project ($600,000):

  • This project will be integrated into the joint FortisBC-BC Hydro Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) and will support the training and use of energy coaches to help homeowners reduce their energy costs.
  • Energy coaches help homeowners better understand the results of home energy evaluations, provide an in-depth exploration of retrofit options available and help homeowners plan and stage retrofits.
  • The funds will be used to:
    • Support the development of training for energy advisors and home heating and ventilation professionals to become energy coaches.
    • Provide a subsidy to offset the cost of home energy evaluations carried out by trained energy coaches.
    • Develop a pilot project in which home performance contractors (heating systems, insulation, etc.) receive energy coaching training and provide coaching services to homeowners.
  • FortisBC will administer the funds. A third party will be contracted to develop and deliver the energy coaching training.
  • Coaching training and subsidies through the ICE Fund project will be implemented later in 2016. BC Hydro will also be commencing a small number of energy coaching pilots in limited municipalities.

Passive House Training Subsidy ($100,000):

  • The international Passive House standard achieves reductions in heating energy of up to 90% compared to other buildings.
  • Passive House design principles focus mostly on enhancing the building envelope with thicker walls and additional insulation and include the most energy-efficient ventilation systems, doors and windows on the market.
  • While the Passive House system of construction is now typical for new construction in Europe, it has not yet been widely adopted by builders in Canada and requires specialized training and experience.
  • The grant will help sponsor and subsidize introductory or certification courses in Passive House design principles offered by the Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) West for up to 200 qualified professionals in British Columbia.
  • CanPHI West is a membership based not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing Canadians with the knowledge and tools to design and construct buildings meeting the international Passive House Standard. It offers a selection of specialized courses to architects, engineers, tradespeople, planners and homeowners in Passive House design and construction.
  • In March 2015, $100,000 was provided to CanPHI West to subsidize Passive House design courses.
  • The subsidized courses provided under last year’s ICE Fund grant exceeded participant targets, helping more than 200 building professionals gain more thorough understanding of how to apply Passive House concepts and techniques in the B.C context.

High Performance Home Builders Training Subsidy ($100,000):

  • These funds will subsidize courses in three high performance building standards for a minimum of 200 builders, renovators, architects, city planners and municipal building inspectors:
    • ENERGY STAR for New Homes Initiative
    • R-2000
    • Net Zero Energy (NZE) Homes Builder Training by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).
  • The training will be provided by the CHBA and service organizations licensed by Natural Resources Canada.
  • FortisBC will administer the funds. FortisBC, along with the Homeowner Protection Office and BC Hydro, are project partners and each contributed an additional $10,000.