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BC Hydro and Ministry of Health Free Portable AC Program - Commonly Asked Questions

I just received my approval email from BC Hydro for an AC Unit that says my file has been assigned to It's On Electric. What happens next? 

Once you are approved by BC Hydro, your information is sent to It’s On Electric. Please DO NOT CALL It's On Electric to schedule your appointment, we (or one of our subcontractor partners) will contact you to set up an appointment for a free full installation with our licensed electricians, or if you have indicated that you would like to install yourself, we will reach out to you to confirm eligibility and arrange for a unit to be delivered to your home.  Our turnaround time for initial contact is 1-2 weeks from the date you received your approval from BC Hydro. 


I chose to have a full installation by an electrician, how long until I can get an appointment?  

From BC Hydro’s approval date, you can expect to receive an email or phone call from It’s On Electric or one of our subcontractors within 3-4 weeks to schedule your installation. We are currently booking weeks in advance, due to high volume. 


I chose self-installation, how soon will I receive my unit?  

From BC Hydro’s approval date, you can expect to receive an email from It’s On Electric within 1-2 weeks. Included in this email are some screening questions to determine if self-installation is the correct option for you. If you qualify for self-installation, a Self-Installation Consent Form will be provided to you to be completed, signed, and emailed (or snail-mailed) back. Once this has been received by It’s On Electric, we will put you in the queue for delivery.


I chose a full installation by an electrician, but I would like to change it to self-installation. How can I do this? 

If you are a homeowner, your home was built after1960, you are only a good candidate or self-installation if:

  • You do not already have AC. This includes any portable or Window AC Units, as well as central units

  • Your home is newer, and you are confident the electrical system can handle this additional electrical load

  • You do not have knob and tube wiring

  • You do not have any critical medical equipment in your home

  • You do not have any electrical work in your home that has been completed by anyone other than a licensed electrician as per the Canadian Electrical Code

  • You are physically capable of lifting 50lbs

  • You understand that you need to sign for the delivery, and if you are not home at the time of delivery, you may need to pick up from Canada Post/courier (See above point about lifting 50 lbs)

  • You understand how to follow manufacturers guidelines

  • You understand that there is no support provided by the program if you choose this option once your unit is received 

  • You understand that if you require any additional parts or accessories for your installation, you will need to purchase this yourself, as there will be nothing provided by the program beyond what comes standard in the box

If you fall within the above listed guidelines, and are in agreement to the conditions then you would qualify for self-installation and you can email your request to to change from full installation by an electrician to self-installation.

In the email subject line, please include “Request to change to self-install” and your BC Hydro application number. Once your email is received, we will email you screening questions to confirm eligibility and a Self-Installation Consent Form that must be signed and emailed back. Once the signed consent form has been received by It’s On Electric, we will put you in the queue for delivery.  If you are not the homeowner, unfortunately you do not qualify for self-installation. Please see below for more information in you are a tenant.


I chose self-installation, but would like to change to a free full installation from the licensed electricians?

You can do this by emailing your request to In the subject line, please include “Request to change to full installation” and your BC Hydro application number. Once your email is received, we will move you onto the queue for a full free installation. 


I am a tenant and don’t have a BC Hydro account. Can I still apply for the free AC Unit? 

You can still apply for the AC Unit, but this cannot be done online. You will need to apply by calling BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376. You must provide a copy of your Notice of Assessment and the Landlord Consent Form signed by your landlord. You can find the Landlord Consent Form HERE


I am a tenant but have my own BC Hydro account, so do I still need my landlord to sign a consent form?

Yes, because the property is not owned by the applicant, the owner must give permission and sign the Landlord Consent Form due to liability reasons. You can find the Landlord Consent Form HERE


I am a tentant, can I choose to do a self-installation?  

No, all tentants who do not own the property where they reside are required to have a full electrical installation by one of It’s On Electric’s certified electricians. 


I’ve been through the ECAP program last year, do I need to reapply to receive an AC Unit?

Yes. The Free AC Program was introduced in June 2023, so if you had participated in the ECAP program prior to this then you will need to reapply for the AC Only program online on BC Hydro’s website. 


Can I self-install my AC Unit if I have a casement crank, tilting, or pivot window? 

The units are made to be installed in sliding windows, as per the manufacturer guidelines, however, we have seen customers get creative in sealing their windows with other window types. Here are a few instructional videos:


The AC Unit that I received only cools a room up to 200 square feet and my room is larger than that. Can I trade my unit in at It’s On Electric for a larger unit? 

No, recipients of the AC Program do not have the option to choose the type or model of the portable AC Unit they will receive. It’s On Electric is only provided with AC Units that have been pre-approved by the Ministry of Health.  There are minimum requirements that have been outlined, and the unit you receive will meet the minimum requirements.  This is a heat safety initiative meant only to provide cooling to one room in your house so that you have somewhere to retreat to in the event of a heat wave to prevent heat-related illness or injury.  Units are not provided for convenience or comfort.  For information on AC models please view the links below. Please note that model numbers might vary depending on manufacturer availability: 

Hisense Portable AC Unit  (click HERE for user manual) 

Haier Portable AC Unit  (click HERE for user manual)

My new AC Unit has stopped working, how can I get a replacement unit? 

It’s On Electric is not the warranty provider for each of the AC Units, therefore if you need assistance or have a warranty claim you must deal directly with the manufacturer. You can refer to your user manual for the warranty and contact information.


I set up my AC Unit a few hours ago and it's now giving me an E5 error code. What does this mean? 

If your unit stops working and an E5 error code is displayed on your screen, most often this will happen with the unit has been turned on and subjected to high humidity within a short time frame, or if the unit has been run in dehumidify mode. To fix this, you will need to drain the unit, as condensation has most likely accumulated within the unit.  Once the unit has been drained, the error code should be corrected.  You can drain your unit by putting a towel or tray underneath and unplugging the plug at the backside of the unit. This should resolve itself within 5 days.

For more information about the Free Portable AC Program visit BC Hydro's website HERE

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