QUEBEC CITY -- Installing oil-powered heating equipment in new construction will be prohibited in Quebec as of Dec. 31.

Two years later, as of Dec. 31, 2023, installing an oil furnace or replacing one with a fossil fuel furnace in existing buildings will also be prohibited, according to a regulation by the Quebec government.

Financial assistance may be available to homeowners who are required to convert to renewable energy.

The regulation will also prohibit reparing furnaces that are more than 20 years old and water heaters that are more than 10 years old that use oil.

Nearly 200,000 Quebec households still own an oil furnace, according to the government. Heating accounts for more than 60 per cent of a home's energy consumption and, therefore, a significant proportion of its carbon footprint.

The Quebec government believes that the measures announced Wednesday will contribute to achieving the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heating buildings in Quebec by 50 per cent by 2030.

Residential oil heating systems generate about one million tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 300,000 light vehicles, according to the government. In addition, oil combustion generates nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and fine particles.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 17, 2021.