New oil heating regulations: How do they affect your home insurance?

Chauffage au mazout

As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants from residential heating in the province, the Québec government enacted new regulations at the end of 2021 on oil-fired heating appliances in residential buildings. If you heat your home with oil, you probably have some questions. What are the key dates to remember? How do these new measures affect your home insurance? We’re THERE to help you make sense of it all.

Oil-fired furnaces: what the new regulations say

As part of its 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, the Government of Québec has introduced regulations to phase out oil-fired heating systems in residential buildings and replace them with heating systems that run on electricity or other forms of renewable energy.

As of December 31, 2021, the Regulation respecting oil-fired heating appliances made it illegal to install boilers, furnaces, and water heaters powered in whole or in part by oil in new residential buildings and in residential buildings for which a building permit had been issued prior to this date.

What’s more, starting December 31, 2023, homeowners will no longer be able to install oil-fired heating appliances or replace them with fossil fuel-fired appliances (natural gas or propane) in existing residential buildings of three storeys or less with a total area not exceeding 600 m² (e.g., bungalows, two-storey homes, duplexes, etc.). It will also be prohibited, with some exceptions, to repair boilers, furnaces, and water heaters powered in whole or in part by oil if they were installed more than 20 years ago (boilers and furnaces) or 10 years ago (water heaters).

More specifically, this means that it will no longer be possible to repair or replace the combustion chamber or heat exchanger of an oil-fired appliance. However, it will still be possible to repair or replace motors, motor-activated mobile components, and electronic control components on oil-fired appliances. Lastly, “normal” maintenance consistent with the age of the oil-fired appliance will also be permitted.

To find out what maintenance is permitted and have it performed, contact a qualified professional, such as a member of the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ). Reporting obligations apply to these professionals when carrying out certain work, as set out in the regulations.

Answers to your questions

If you have an oil furnace in your home and need to have it repaired or replaced, be sure to comply with these new rules or you could be penalized. To help you get it all straight, Québec’s Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs has put together a handy FAQ (in French). It’s a great resource for homeowners who heat with oil!

Promutuel Insurance is THERE to help protect your home!

If you heat your home with oil and you’re insured with us, don’t worry! The new regulations won’t affect your home insurance policy. Your coverage remains the same.

Remember, though, that if your oil furnace breaks down, it may be impossible to have it repaired. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace it with a heating system that runs on electricity or another renewable energy source. With that in mind, it’s wise to plan ahead!

If you have any questions about your home insurance or need to update your policy in view of a new heating system, please contact one of our damage insurance representatives.