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British Columbia’s Home Performance Stakeholder Council (HPSC) in active discussions with industry about key elements that will underpin utility and government programs of support for heat pumps.  Among other things, this will include a heat pump installation checklist, and a guide for site inspections to ensure quality compliance and to determine project acceptability for programs. The expectation is that these documents will evolve into the Inspection Protocol to be used on an ongoing basis as part of the Contractor Management System which will be the key to ensuring quality projects and dealing with issues around poorly-done projects and contractors accreditation.

In addition to HPSC, HRAI has been in discussions with the City of Vancouver about what the appropriate criteria should be for HVAC contractors to participate in these potential incentive programs and/or to qualify for permits.  A consensus among stakeholders is that all jobs should be signed off by licensed Refrigeration Mechanics.  This industry position raises a challenge in the province as there is a recognized shortage of certificate holders serving the residential marketplace.  Accordingly, there has been growing interest in the adoption of a residential trade designation modeled on the Residential AC Mechanic program that currently exist in Ontario and Manitoba.

It is hoped that decisions regarding contractor compliance requirements can be settled in advance of the introduction of financial support programs focused on reducing carbon emissions, which may be coming as early as this fall.  HRAI has taken the position that financial incentive programs should not be rolled out until these important questions are resolved and industry has a clear understanding of expectations, with sufficient time to prepare.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 416-453-5899 or email mluymes@hrai.ca.