I think it should be based on income. Lower income people tend to live in older housing and cannot afford to insulate etc. The new bill leaves out everybody without children between the ages of 19 and 65 though. The rebates should be based on household income. They should also be higher. Even with the rebates poor people are going to have to choose between heating and food. Some who depend on vehicles for employment (like couriers) are getting hit with a double whammy.
I have little pity for people living in monster houses with double attached, heated garages. If they have to pay for making wasteful choices, tough titty.
I do think that there has to be a more reasonable program for upgrading houses to save energy. Right now you need to meet minimums and jump through hoops for a minimal return.
Why not drop the GST on insulation, windows and doors, etc? That would be a 7% saving on a good chunk of renovation costs. Why not allow people to save their receipts from a renovation and give them an income tax break on that? A lot of people cannot afford to meet the minimums, so they replace one door or window at a time. They get nothing back for doing that.
Why not offer low-cost loans to people who want to move to alternate heating methods? Heat pumps, solar and wind-powered electric, etc. are all choices that people who would benefit the most cannot make because they lack the initial capital.
How about changing the building codes? Double offset stud walls reduce heat loss. Require better windows and doors. Make heat pumps standard in all new developments.
Everything I've mentioned here not only saves energy, but will generate economic activity and produce jobs. All rebates on heating do in the long term is use our tax money to pay corporations that are already making record profits.