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Poll: British Columbians have a positive impression of heat pumps, especially when better informed about them

Photo by: @FanFan61618 via Flickr (License: CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

With last week’s budget offering an additional $40 million for heat pump rebates in B.C., a new poll conducted by Stratcom for Clean Energy Canada surveyed British Columbians’ opinions and knowledge of the technology, finding that their already favourable impression is greatly increased when presented with information on heat pump benefits.

Out of the gate, a majority (53%) of British Columbians either already have a heat pump or feel positively about them, compared to 20% who have a negative impression or do not think a heat pump is right for them.

bar graph showing poll results

To test existing knowledge of the technology, respondents were presented with a number of facts about heat pumps, then asked if they were already aware of the information and if it made them more inclined to choose one for their home. The most well-known fact was that heat pumps can also be used as air conditioning during hotter months, though only 54% were aware of this benefit. Meanwhile, just 28% were aware that heat pumps are the lowest cost option for most households, even when factoring in equipment costs. 

bar graph showing poll results

When asked how hearing each of these facts impacted their interest in the technology, a majority of British Columbians in every case (between 60% and 71%) said they were more inclined to consider a heat pump as a result of this newly presented information.

bar graph showing poll results

When asked again how they felt about installing a heat pump in their home, after having read the above facts, the proportion of respondents who said they would like to at some point doubled from 15% to 30%, with a total of 61% either already owning one or feeling positively about one (up from 53%). Meanwhile, the percentage of people with a negative impression of heat pumps decreased from 20% to 15%.

bar graph showing poll results

In addition, a majority of British Columbians (63%) think that new build homes should come with a heat pump wherever it makes sense, while just 21% think that those homes should be allowed to connect to natural gas heating.

bar graph showing poll results


“British Columbians are on board with heat pumps, but more must be done to communicate their benefits. As this polling shows, strong support for heat pumps grows even stronger with increased understanding. And with B.C. enduring increasingly hot summers, heat pumps are a win-win solution for both climate adaptation and mitigation. They provide efficient heating and cooling to British Columbian homes, many of which do not have existing AC systems, while helping residents cut their energy bills and their carbon footprints. As such, it’s great to see the B.C. government extend support for heat pump rebates in its recent budget, and we strongly encourage the province to clearly communicate their many benefits to British Columbians.” 

— Trevor Melanson, Communications Director, Clean Energy Canada


These are results from an online survey using self-selecting representative panels and river sources from February 5 – February 12, 2024, conducted by Strategic Communications. The sample of 800 B.C. adult residents is statistically weighted to match the composition of British Columbia by gender, age, and region as per most recently available Census data. Margin of error is not applicable to online surveys, but a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 %, 19 times out of 20.

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