Seattle's Clean Heat Program

The City Council has repealed the heating oil tax ordinance and passed a 2023/2024 budget to fund heating oil conversion incentives for homeowners.

If you have any questions about the Clean Heat program or the delay you may contact Christine Bunch, Office of Sustainability and Environment, Christine.bunch@seattle.gov or (206) 615-1633.


Heating oil is the least efficient, most expensive, and most polluting form of home heating in Seattle. We estimate that between 15,000 and 18,000 households heat with oil, and converting them to Seattle's clean electricity will reduce our climate pollution by the same amount as taking 90,000 cars off the road for an entire year. 

By December 31, 2028, owners with active oil tanks may be required to upgrade their tank to a code-compliant tank in order to prevent leaks or otherwise decommission their tank (fill in place or remove). Underground oil tanks rust, erode, and develop leaks that can contaminate the soil and groundwater. While there is no requirement now to replace a tank with a new tank, it is possible that a future Seattle Fire Code may require a replacement. Note: Existing Seattle Fire Code already specifies tank decommissioning requirements should you switch heating fuels.

In order to reduce climate pollution and reduce heating costs, the City is offering a $1,500 instant rebate when you switch from heating your home with oil to heating with an energy-efficient Mitsubishi Electric Heat Pump. With heating oil prices at an all-time high, there’s never been a better time to switch to an energy-efficient heat pump that can save you more than 50% on your annual heating costs. Heat pumps also provide air-conditioning making them a great energy efficient solution for year-round comfort.

Resources to help Seattle residents with oil heat

  • Oil Tax Reimbursement
    The City of Seattle will reimburse income-qualified households participating in the Utility Discount Program, up to $120/year. The reimbursement will be provided annually either on the customer's Seattle City Light account directly, or by check.

  • No Cost Heat Pumps
    Revenues from the oil tax will help pay for conversions from oil heat to electric heat pumps for approximately 1,000 income-qualified households. This includes decommissioning the oil tank and removal of the old oil furnace.

  • Heat Pumps for Renters
    If a renter meets the income qualification, the City will work with the landlord for permission to complete the upgrade and in return, the landlord will agree to a rental covenant to prevent rent increases for 3 years.

  • Utility Discount Program
    This program is available to any income qualified household - not just those with oil heat. By switching from oil to electric heat means that electric heating costs will be discounted by 60%. Participants also receive a 50% discount on water and sewer costs. For information, call 206-684-3417 or go to https://www.seattle.gov/light/assistance/

  • Oil Tank Leak Insurance and Loans/Grants
    The State of Washington Pollution Liability Insurance Agency offers a free oil tank leak insurance program that covers up to $60,000 in clean-up costs for those registered for the program. For homeowners not already registered, a new loan and grant program is available to pay for leak clean-up costs. More information is available at www.plia.wa.gov.
  • Rebates
    Households have access to a $1,500 rebate when converting from oil to a qualified heat pump system. Seattle households must use a participating contractor listed on the rebate web site and install eligible equipment. The rebate is instantly applied at time of invoice by the contractor.    
  • Financing options
    Many lending institutions provide financing for energy-efficient upgrades, including electric heat pumps, weatherization, and more. Two non-profit lending partners offer these loans as well as the opportunity to pay back the loan on your Seattle City Light bill. Contact Craft3 or Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union for more information.