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What to know about the heating assistance rebate program

Eligible applicants can get more in rebates if they apply by March 31

2 min read
A white and orange truck in a parking lot reads “Scotia Fuels.”
caption Nova Scotians use more heating oil to heat their homes than most other provinces..
Shazara Khan

Heating prices in Nova Scotia have gone up and you can’t afford to stay warm.

Now what?

The province has a rebate program for people who pay for heat. Eligible applicants can get $1,000 from the heating assistance rebate program.

“The inflationary pressures we’re seeing across the country and around the world are making life harder right here in Nova Scotia,” stated Premier Tim Houston in a Dec. 14 news release announcing the $100 million program.

“We know many families are struggling to heat their homes and we want to help.”

The provincial government launched the program to help low-and-moderate-income residents with  heating costs.

This year, it increased the rebate amount to $1,000 from $200 and the minimum qualifying income to $85,000 for all households.

‘Energy poverty’

Claire Morley, an energy efficiency officer from the Ecology Action Centre, said lots of people in Nova Scotia use oil to heat their homes.

The average price for heating oil in Halifax was $1.842 per litre in December, according to Statistics Canada.

Morley said high prices like these can lead to energy poverty, where households struggle to pay their energy bills or have to make compromises in order to pay them.

Nova Scotia has one of the highest energy poverty rates in Canada, Morley said, and people are looking for other ways to stay warm because of this. 

She said while heat pumps are more energy and cost-efficient than furnaces, installing them can be too expensive for some households. 

Morley said oil prices are high partly due to demand, so the province needs to start using cleaner energy sources. 

How to apply 

To be eligible for the rebate you must pay the heating bills for your household. 

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria from the provincial government:

  • Have a net income of $85,000 or less and live alone with no children or dependents
  • Have a net household income of $85,000 or less if you live with children, dependents or other adults
  • Receive income assistance from the Department of Community Services
  • Receive the guaranteed income supplement or the allowance from Service Canada

Residents can apply online at

It takes eight weeks to get a rebate but it can take longer if there are problems with the application.

You don’t have to reapply if you’ve already applied once.

The deadline for applications is March 31.


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About the author

Shazara Khan

Shazara Khan is a journalism student at the University of King's College. Before coming to Halifax, she got a Bachelor of Science from her hometown...

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