Vancouver: The British Columbia government has announced to give its Crown power utility $10 million to provide up to 8,000 free air-conditioning units to vulnerable people.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the funding to BC Hydro will provide up to 8,000 air-conditioning units over the next three years, but if demand increases, that number could also go up.

Dix added that people can apply for the units on their own or health officials working with elderly people will be able to help them get a unit.

A death review panel by the BC Coroners Service found that most of the 619 people who died in B.C.’s heat dome event in 2021 were low-income and vulnerable people who were 60 years and older.

One of the key recommendations from the panel was that the government provide air-conditioning units to those living in single-room apartments.

Hydro president Chris O’Reilly said the utility will also offer all customers $50 off purchases of qualified, energy-saving air-conditioning units. — Canadian Press 

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