Domestic Hot Water

Stream 3

A City of Vancouver research program aimed at accelerating the switch from fossil fuels to 100% electric domestic hot water heating in homes.


Thank you for your interest in Near Zero Stream 3, this program closed on Mar 1, 2024. 

In a typical home, water heating is the second highest energy use, while space heating is the first. Water heating accounts for about 36% of greenhouse gases emitted from a residential home. Learn more in this B2E article.

As of January 1, 2022, the City of Vancouver requires almost all new homes to use low-carbon energy systems for water heating. While this doesn’t apply to existing homes, the Province of BC is currently developing high efficiency standards for replacement space and water heating equipment for 2030. Electric water heaters will comply with these future requirements.

Program goals:

  • Understand the homeowner process to replace a gas-fired water heater with an electric water heater.
  • Understand the contractor process to replace a gas-fired water heater with an electric water heater.
  • Share findings with City of Vancouver to inform future program development or supportive policy changes

In this research program, participants will receive financial support for their project. In return, participants need to provide information about the process they went through to undertake the project, what challenges they met along the way, and which contractors they spoke with during the project.

We have heard from several applicants that electrical panel capacity can be an issue. You might not have to upgrade your electrical panel, and we recommend you share this Technical Safety BC bulletin with your contractor.


The City of Vancouver is committed to advancing reconciliation, equity, and anti-racism for all people in Vancouver and to fulfil these commitments, this program will prioritize applications from the following self-reporting groups: black, indigenous or persons of colour, LGBTQ2S+ community, and women.

Translation of documents is available upon request.

This program stream is financially supported by the City of Vancouver, BC Hydro and B2E.


Participants will be required to complete one questionnaire when the project is complete, including providing contractor details. The research team will initiate a follow-up phone call to the contractor to gain insights on the project. If details in the questionnaire require clarification, the research team may also initiate a follow-up email with the homeowner.

The following compensation is available for participants:

  • $1,000 for replacement with an all-electric water heater.
  • Up to $2,000 for an electrical service upgrade and/or load management system*

* The final compensation for this is at the sole discretion of the program administrator and will not exceed the costs incurred by the homeowner.

Eligibility Criteria

Before applying, please confirm that your project meets all of the eligibility requirements outlined below:

  • The property must be located in the City of Vancouver.
  • The building must a Part 9 building as determined by the Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL), such as single and multi-family homes, townhouse complexes and laneway.
  • The domestic hot water heater upgrade must be replacing a fossil fuel-based heater with all-electric equipment.

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis until program funding has been expended. As applicable, preference will be given for first time applicants to the NearZero program.

In applying to the program, the participants acknowledge that the program administrator will have the final decision on selection of projects and financial compensation.

* Electrical panel capacity issues? You might not have to upgrade your electrical panel. Share this Technical Safety BC bulletin with your contractor.*

Application Process

This stream is closed, thank you for your interest

If further assistance is needed: with the subject line NearZero DHW

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