B.C. to fund 8,000 air conditioners for people vulnerable to extreme heat
June 28, 2023
By Avert staff
The B.C. government is putting $10 million into a BC Hydro program to include free, publicly funded portable air conditioners for medically vulnerable and low incomes people.
BC Hydro expects the funding to cover the installation of 8,000 AC units over the next three years. Applications will be open to low-income people or medical referrals by home health-care workers.
“Extreme weather is now part of our reality because of climate change and it’s important that people, especially those most at risk from extreme heat, have the supports they need to stay safe,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said in a news release. “Making cooling units more available, in addition to other services, will help people and families in B.C. be better protected during extreme heat emergencies.”
The province said the funding builds on extreme heat initiatives rolled out last year, including the launch of the BC Heat Alert and Response System (BC HARS).
B.C. also created the Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide, available in French, Punjabi, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese, in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control.
“We know extreme heat emergencies can cause significant health challenges for vulnerable people and that’s why we’ve taken steps so B.C. and our health-care system are better prepared,” B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix said. “We’re ensuring more people have the tools and supports they need to stay safe during extraordinary heat events. As well, we’re making record investments to our ambulance services and team-based primary care to strengthen our health system.”
Print this page