Air conditioning offer for FortisBC electricity customers
Interested in the air conditioner (AC) offer the Ministry of Health recently announced?
If you meet the program income qualification or have received a recommendation letter from your regional health authority's Home Care Program, you can apply to the Energy Conservation Assistance Program and may be considered for the AC offer. If you don’t meet the program's income qualifications, but are considered medically heat vulnerable, you will be considered for the AC offer only.
Individuals who have received a recommendation letter from their regional health authority's Home Care Program should include their referral letter with their Energy Conservation Assistance Program application.
This offer is available to customers with a residential electricity account with one of the following utilities: FortisBC, New Westminster, Grand Forks, Summerland, Penticton or Nelson Hydro.
Note: Your participation in the offer is not guaranteed. You must fill out the application and meet all eligibility requirements to be considered. Timelines to provide service to eligible customers will vary.
- Why has the province announced air AC offer?
- Extreme heat emergencies can cause significant health challenges for heat vulnerable customers and this will help protect people most at risk.
- Who is eligible for the AC program?
- Low-income and heat vulnerable customers, who are referred through their home care clinician or community health nurse are eligible for the program.
- What is heat vulnerable? How do I qualify?
- Medical eligibility for the AC offer is based on vulnerability criteria developed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the BC Centre for Disease Control and operates on a referral basis through a home health clinician or community health nurse.
- Who qualifies as low income and how is it verified?
- To ensure AC units are provided to those who need them most, the application process is income tested through the Energy Conservation Assistance Program. Customers will need to provide proof of income for each member of their household aged 18 or older. Customers will need to provide proof of income for each member of their household aged 18 or older and ensure their household income qualifies for the program.
- How do I apply for the AC installation?
- Customers can apply through our the Energy Conservation Assistance Program. The AC unit is one of the products available through the program and participants living in a single-family home, duplex or townhouse may also receive energy-saving products such as water-efficient shower-heads, LED light bulbs and draft-proofing. Some homes may qualify for refrigerator replacement and/or insulation upgrades (these additional upgrades are not available for condos and apartments). All products and services are provided at no cost.
- How do I apply if I live in a condo or apartment?
- Customers that live in a condo or apartment are eligible through the Energy Conservation Assistance Program, but for an AC unit only. If you're renting an apartment or condo you need consent from your landlord. If you live in a condo you need to either ensure AC units are permitted in your strata rules or receive approval from your strata council before applying to the program.
- Can a past Energy Conservation Assistant Program participant apply?
- Yes, if you previously participated in the program you can apply for the AC unit offer if you still meet the income qualification and are referred by a home care clinician or community health nurse.
- Are renters eligible?
- As a renter, you are eligible for the Energy Conservation Assistance Program and the AC offer if your utility account is in your name. Your landlord must complete a landlord consent form, which must be submitted along with the application.
- Am I eligible if I have an AC unit in my home already?
- No, you’re not eligible if you have a functioning AC unit in your home. If you have a unit that's non-functioning, you may be eligible for a new one. Your old unit will be removed and recycled properly.
- What’s the process for getting my AC unit after applying?
- An energy coach will assess your home to determine if it's compatible with an AC unit. There may be situations where not all customers that are approved will receive an AC unit. This will be determined by the energy coach based on the individual home
characteristics. In some instances, a follow-up visit may be required to install the AC unit.
- If I am in a building with a strata do I need to get permission for the installation of an AC unit if I meet the criteria? If so, how do I get permission?
- Before applying, you must check with your strata bylaws or strata council that you can install an AC unit.
- Are residents in non-profit housing complexes able to apply for AC unit installations through this program?
- Yes, customers living in non-profit societies may apply.
- Is it possible to install an AC unit in a shared space for use by all residents in a multi-tenanted building?
- The program is intended to provide AC units for detached houses, townhomes, rowhomes, duplexes, manufactured/mobile homes and apartments/condos. The program isn’t for providing AC units in common areas at this time.
- What kind of AC unit will I get?
- The AC unit offer is for one portable AC unit. Window-mount options may be available depending on home characteristics. The offer does not include central, ducted AC units.
- Who will install the AC unit if it needs installation?
- The unit will be installed by a qualified professional.
- Why am I only getting one AC unit?
- Each eligible household will receive one portable AC unit, which will be installed by a qualified professional. The free AC unit is being provided as a safety device, which can be installed in a single room to ensure safety during extreme weather events, rather than sized to provide comfort in the whole home. Small AC units will also help keep energy bills lower than full-size units.