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On June 17th and 18th, HRAI engaged in a series of “Roundtable” meetings with industry in Nova Scotia on a couple of topics arising from the province’s drive to expand the heat pump market.  Meetings were held in Sydney, New Glasgow and Dartmouth and members were asked to provide guidance for HRAI on two matters:

  1. The receptiveness to adopting a “Residential AC Technician Trade” (modeled on the trade that exists in Manitoba and Ontario) as a partial solution to filling the training and certification need for qualified technicians in the residential heat pump market (which are sorely lacking in numbers). 
  2. The receptiveness to a program of heat pump rentals, as has been proposed by Nova Scotia Power, to build on the success of their financing program that has helped to fuel the uptake of heat pumps in the province for more than five years.

Roundtable attendees, mostly contractors and a few wholesaler representatives, were intrigued but somewhat skeptical about the likelihood of success for the new trade concept.  They liked the idea of implementing a training and certification program that would more closely fit the needs of residential contractors, but expressed concern about the general lack of enforcement of existing regulations.  There was general support for the idea of making incentive programs aimed at heat pumps conditional upon use of appropriately qualified installers.

On the matter of a new rental program, participants were much more aligned in their thinking.  The pervasive view was that a utility rental program, even one coming from a utility like Nova Scotia Power that has a proven positive track record in dealing with HVAC contractors, posed more concerns than perceived benefits.

HRAI will be following up on these meetings with a survey of members in the province, with a set of questions that will be informed by the roundtable discussions.  Once some clear direction has been set, a plan of action will be worked out.

For more information, email Martin Luymes or call at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235.