2018 Furnace & Air Conditioner Rebates, and HVAC Upgrade Incentives
IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is for informational purposes only. FurnacePrices.ca is not owned, operated or affiliated with the Canadian federal or provincial governments.
There are a variety of utility company incentives, HVAC government rebates, grants, and energy credits available for Canadian homeowners to offset the cost of upgrading to a new heating and cooling system. These vary across the country, from province to province, by region or municipality, and can change at any time.
The brand you choose, whether it’s Carrier, Lennox, Goodman, KeepRite, Amana, Napoleon, or any of the many other manufacturers generally isn’t important. Usually the most important qualifying factor for the rebates below is that the new system is a high-efficiency model. Often the unit must be ENERGY STAR certified as well. Furthermore, getting rebates AFTER you’ve already replaced your furnace, A/C, water heater, etc is difficult or impossible in most cases.
“How do I actually get these HVAC rebates?” Check out our FAQ at the bottom of this article for details.
This article will examine some of the 2018 government and utility company furnace and air conditioner grants, energy tax credits & rebates available to Canadians.
Available Rebates Covered Below (May) Include Rebates for:
✔ High-efficiency natural gas furnaces
✔ Propane furnaces
✔ Boilers & combi-boilers
✔ Central air conditioners
✔ Ductless mini-split systems
✔ Heat pumps
✔ Geothermal heating systems
✔ Nest & smart thermostats
Jump to a section in this article:
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – formely Ontario Power Authority (OPA) Government Rebates
The ‘Save On Energy’ rebates from the IESO do not require an energy audit, however the new heating and cooling system must be purchased from a participating contractor or company that is registered to provide these rebates. After the installation is complete, the company should file for them on your behalf, and you will receive a cheque in the mail within 6 months.
- Get up to $250 for installing a new ENERGY STAR high-efficiency furnace with an ECM (electronically commutated motor).
- IMPORTANT: Get up to $600 for UPGRADING to a new ENERGY STAR high-efficiency central air conditioning system.In some cases you could qualify even if you’re not replacing an existing central air conditioning unit. IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of July 1st 2017, you must install a minimum 18 SEER model to qualify
Save On Energy
Union Gas Rebates
Anyone in the Union Gas franchise territory in Central and Southwestern Ontario can get up to $2500 of their home renovation costs back for certain energy-efficient upgrades to your home, including up to $500 for HVAC systems. The rebate program is available for oil, gas and propane customers even if you’re not a Union Gas customer.
UPDATE: Union Gas has increased the total available rebates to $5000 (per household), including up to $1000 for a new natural gas furnace or boiler.
Note that you must complete an energy assessment of your home by a certified energy advisor before and after the renovations, and they must include at least two “eligible” upgrades (other criteria also must be met). This includes things like upgrading your furnace, boiler, hot water heater, or windows/doors/skylights with Energy Star models, and/or upgrading your insulation or window sealing.
These rebates are for homeowners who reside in the Enbridge Gas territory even if you’re not a customer.
Get up to $2,100 in incentives via their Home Energy Conservation program (including a $150 “instant rebate” on the cost of the first energy audit).
Similar to the Union Gas program, homeowners must be in qualifying areas, and must get an energy assessment by an Enbridge-approved CEA (Certified Energy Advisor) before and after the upgrades (full details here).
There are many qualifying upgrade types (forced-air furnace replacement, boilers, water heatesr, insulation improvements, new windows, etc) and the total amount of the incentive varies from $850 to $1950 depending on the percentage of overall fuel-savings achieved.
Opt for ENERGY STAR certified products when upgrading!
Smart Thermostats/NEST Rebate
Union Gas: Get a $100 credit towards a new smart thermostat. This incentive is only available as part of the Union Gas Home Reno Rebate program described above.
Enbridge: Get a $100 credit on your Enbridge account when you install a qualifying smart thermostat like a NEST Learning Thermostat or a similar product. If you already installed your NEST Learning Thermostat, click here to apply for the rebate.
Hot water heater and tankless water heater rebates
Replacing your hot water heater with a new energy-efficient hot water heater tank or tankless system is a qualifying upgrade for both Union Gas and Enbridge, as part of their respective home upgrade incentive programs detailed above. That being said, sometimes to get money back for a hot water heater, it must be combined with other products or home energy efficiency upgrades.
In addition, credits and incentives available in other provinces also often include hot water heaters as a qualifying product (continue reading below for more details about other provinces).
Make sure you get your rebates, and find out which furnace and air conditioner models, products, and other HVAC upgrades qualify!
If you’re interested in purchasing a furnace, air conditioner or other HVAC system and would like a quote including the current rebates and credits, please simply request a quote here. We’ve partnered with local heating and cooling companies across Canada to provide home owners with top-quality products and the best prices.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large volume of calls and emails, we can only assist those interested in receiving a quote for a furnace, air conditioning or other HVAC system from one of our local distributor partners. Unfortunately, we cannot provide additional information or help you get rebates for systems you’ve already purchased. If you have already purchased a furnace or AC, please contact the company you bought it from for assistance with receiving any applicable rebates.
Currently Alberta has a very limited amount of rebates available for consumers looking to upgrade their heating or cooling system.
Get $500 back when you buy a new ENERGY STAR furnace; $100 towards an energy audit; and $50 for buying a programmable thermostat.
Energy Efficiency Alberta Program
Beginning in April 2017, this program offers many “no-charge” energy-saving upgrades to homeowners and renters across Alberta. However for ordinary consumers these are mostly limited to smaller products like light bulbs and shower heads.
As far as credits and incentives for HVAC systems, these will be limited to businesses, non-profits, and other institutions.
There will however be residential financial incentives and rebates for new solar installations.
FortisBC & BC Hydro
Customers in FortisBC’s service area can get up to $1300 – $1700 when switching from oil, wood, or propane to an ENERGY STAR high-efficiency natural gas heating system like a forced-air furnace (90% AFUE or higher) or boiler system (85% AFUE or higher).
There are a number of other products that qualify for rebates, including water heater upgrades, fireplaces, insulation, and more. You can also get a $750 bonus when you make at least 3 qualifying upgrades.
Full list here available here. (Rebates are provided by BC Hydro and FortisBC, depending on the exact product, region, and other qualifying factors like household income).
Note that an energy audit may be required for certain upgrades, and usually must be performed BEFORE the upgrades are initiated.
BC Hydro & Fortis BC
BC Hydro Aboriginal Upgrade Program
Aboriginal community members and non-profit housing providers can qualify for upgrades to various residential energy-consuming appliances, including heating and cooling systems. Note that in order to qualify for a furnace, you must be a FortisBC customer and must not reside in a mobile home. Other details, terms & conditions, and application info can be found here.
BC Hydro Low Income Program
Qualifying low-income residents can get a free home energy assessment and potentially, a free energy-efficient home furnace.
There are also a number of other commercial incentives, and rebates for new home or multi-unit construction that meet certain energy-efficiency criteria. More details can be found on the FortisBC, and BC Hydro websites.
Currently the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia appear to have among the most residential furnace, air conditioner and related HVAC rebates available. Many of the current incentive programs in other provinces are currently mostly targeting either:
- businesses, and other larger buildings and energy users
- other energy consumption areas like lighting
For more information about the current home renovation and heating & cooling rebates available across Canada, including for businesses, please see Natural Resources Canada’s website.
Manitoba Hydro programs offering rebates on geothermal heat pumps, cold climate air source heat pumps, solar thermal water heaters, and solar photovoltaic systems.
SaskEnergy financing program offering low interest rates (as low as 0% to Prime Plus 2%, OAC) on qualifying ENERGY STAR upgrades like high-efficiency furnaces, boilers, natural gas hot water heaters, A/Cs and other ventilation systems. (Runs until June 30th, 2017)
Various commercial-focused programs dealing with lighting, refrigeration, and commercial HVAC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Usually you must pay for the upgrades yourself and you will receive a partial refund in the mail afterwards.
In most cases, the process is as follows:
- you check for available rebates in your area and carefully study the terms and requirements (you may try speaking to a trusted local contractor for help). You may have to fill out an application first.
- if required, you have an energy audit done by a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) that’s approved by the entity offering the rebate
- you have the upgrades done by a reputable local HVAC contractor (remember, in some cases the company must be registered with the rebate-providing entity. We get contacted daily by people who don’t qualify for the available rebates because they went with the cheapest company they could find or a well-meaning relative. Do your research and ideally opt for an established HVAC contractor)
- in some cases the contractor is responsible for applying for the rebates after the work is done, or it may be up to you. Sometimes a final energy audit is required
- you’ll typically receive a reimbursement cheque in the mail
The process outlined here is just a general guideline and the details will obviously vary in your case. That’s why it can be a good idea to enlist the help of a local HVAC expert ahead of time to help you through the process of replacing your furnace and getting the rebates.
Note that in certain cases (e.g. specific programs for aboriginals) may pay for the upgrades directly but this is relatively rare.
You must almost always apply prior or meet certain pre-installation criteria to qualify. Here some criteria that you may be required to meet (varies by rebate program, obviously):
- work done by a registered company
- pre and post renovation/furnace upgrade energy audit(s)
- purchase of an ENERGY STAR models or other specific model requriements
- certain level of energy consumption decrease achieved
- sometimes more than one upgrade must be done (e.g. new furnace AND water heater)
- must live in eligible region (specific city, province, or be a customer of the gas utility offering the rebate)
- if the rebate is being offered by a utility company, your account must most likely be in good standing
- certain programs are geared to low-income homeowners for example, so specific income or other criteria may apply
These are just examples; every program will have its own requirements that must be met.
Typically anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $1000 or more, depending on the rebate program, how many eligible upgrades are completed (furnace, thermostat, insulation, etc). Remember that you must usually pay for the upgrades first and then receive a cheque afterwards.
In the majority of cases, no. (A limited number of programs may offer “no charge” upgrades but this will be stipulated clearly in the program description.)
Assuming you met all the criteria, you will typically receive the money within a few months of the renovations or HVAC system upgrades being completed.
Often it comes in the form of a cheque in the mail, though in some cases you may get a credit on your natural gas utility company account, for example (e.g. your Enbridge account).
Many of them are offered either by government entities, or by utility companies (e.g. Union Gas, BC Hydro, etc), sometimes with funding from the government.
It varies by rebate program, so it is best to check the exact rebate deadlines in your area for each program. Generally the sooner you can replace your furnace or other upgrade the better to ensure you make the cut.
In many cases, an energy audit by an approved and Certified Energy Auditor must be completed before AND after the work is done. However certain programs like the Ontario Power Authority/Save on Energy rebates do not require an energy audit (though other conditions do apply).
The catch is you must meet a specific list of criteria and other requirements to receive the rebates. And in almost all cases, you must verify that you meet the criteria BEFORE replacing your furnace, A/C or other system. And you must usually pay for the upgrades yourself and be reimbursed afterwards.
This varies by rebate program, however the most common products covered are high-efficiency forced-air furnaces, hot water heaters and tankless water heaters, boilers, smart thermostats, and somewhat less commonly central air conditioner replacements, ductless mini-split heat pumps, and HRVs/ERVs.
Note that the rebates often also cover various other home energy efficiency upgrades like insulation, windows, etc however this particular rebate guide focuses on HVAC-related rebates.
Sometimes a portion of the required energy audit is also covered.
Because your utility company is mean. Just kidding, the availability of rebates will vary over time, and is most often tied to funding by provincial or local governments.
Even if there are no rebates available, it may still very well be worth upgrading your furnace, A/C or water heater. Especially if your current system is older than 10-15 years, you may achieve considerable savings on your utility bills/heating/electricity costs, as well as improvements in your home’s comfort level, heating & cooling performance, temperature consistency, fewer repair and maintenance costs, even a reduction in unit noise levels, as well as improving the value of your home.
Check out our current deals page to find out about other current offers in your area that can help you save on a new HVAC system!
Unfortunately, you must often apply for or meet certain criteria BEFORE the work is done in order to qualify so it’s always best to do your research prior to starting any renovations or removing your old furnace or air conditioner. WE CANNOT HELP YOU IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REPLACED YOUR FURNACE OR OTHER SYSTEM. PLEASE CONTACT THE COMPANY THAT YOU DEALT WITH DIRECTLY.
You can more information or a free quote including applicable local rebates from local contractors in your area here.
Getting heating and cooling rebates does take some additional work and time. If you are pressed for time, like if your furnace broke down in the middle of winter, you may not have the luxury of going through the additional steps of applying for rebates, for example.
However if you do have the time and inclination, you can often get at least a partial refund of the cost, sometimes over $1000. So if you’re considering upgrading your HVAC system, it is often worth it to at least look into it and ask a trusted local contractor about prior to investing in a new home furnace.
With the use of a high efficiency furnace you can cut down on the energy consumption of your home while potentially also improving the comfort level. New ENERGY STAR furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and other systems are often significantly more energy-efficient than older units. If you want to lower your home’s energy consumption, a furnace is one of the best investments that you can make.
Replacing your furnace or making other home renovations can obviously require a costly initial investment. Fortunately there are sometimes provincial government rebates, grants, and tax credits or rebates from your utility company that you can use in order to supplement the cost of a new furnace and recoup some of the money.