The electricity and natural gas that our buildings use generate the majority of Vancouver's greenhouse gas emissions.
We are working to improve the environmental performance of buildings throughout the city.
Read about the:
We are not banning the use of natural gas, despite claims to the contrary in a misinformed opinion piece in The Province newspaper. Learn more.
We’ll continue to use a combination of incentives and regulations to meet our green building targets.
Recent initiatives that bring us closer to reaching the Green Buildings goal.
Passed by Council in February 2016, the Building Energy Retrofit Fund will support and expand programs that result in energy efficiency upgrades for buildings throughout the city.
The Fund will support the Building Energy Retrofit Strategy (6 MB) (adopted by Council in June 2014), which targets buildings that have the most potential to reduce energy use and emissions.
The initial programs that the Fund aims to support when implemented will result in an estimated 3,000 tCO2e reduction annually.
Passive House is a well-established ultra-low energy building performance standard. There are over 40,000 passive house buildings in every climate around the world.
In 2015, we enabled the certified Passive House standard in new homes in Vancouver by relaxing certain restrictions for homes that committed to the standard.
Passive design is based on the simple principle that a thoughtfully designed, better-insulated building can reduce or even eliminate the necessity and costs associated with heating and cooling, while staying comfortable for occupants year-round.
Passive House certified buildings can have up to 90% lower emissions than typical buildings. The first Passive House in Vancouver, completed in early 2016, had heating bills below $20 a month in its first few months of occupancy for a family of four in the middle of winter.
Our city has a diverse population, with new and old residents originating from around the world. Engaging all Vancouverites inclusively around energy conservation requires an understanding of some of the potential barriers, from language to cultural differences and everyday living habits in a new climate.
In 2015, we began supporting Empower Me , an award-winning energy conservation program for new immigrants and ethnic communities in BC. Empower Me encourages peer learning and actions that:
Data shows that between 2007 and 2014—over the period our green building policies began to take effect—the greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of newly built floor area decreased by 30% from 2007 levels.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2015-2016 (8 MB)
Initiatives that brought us closer to reaching the Green Buildings goal from 2014 to 2015.
Adopted by Council in June 2014, the Energy Retrofit Strategy for Existing Buildings aims to reduce greenhouse gases that result from energy use in buildings that already exist.
The strategy focuses on buildings in four target sectors:
On April 1, 2014, Council enacted the 2012 British Columbia Building Code with additional requirements and revisions specific to Vancouver.
Developed in consultation with industry professionals, the new bylaw took effect January 1, 2015. The new bylaw:
The Rezoning Policy provides an opportunity to improve energy efficiency building-by-building.
In June 2014, the Rezoning Policy was updated to promote connection to future low-carbon neighbourhood energy utilities. The updated policy also recognizes energy efficiency programs, such as:
The Rezoning Policy exceeds the Vancouver Building By-Law by 22%, meaning that new buildings have to be that much more efficient if they are built on rezoned land.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2014-2015 (2 MB)
The metric for community building emissions relies on community-wide consumption data from:
The metric for emissions for new buildings relies on:
We publicly report our greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to the Carbon Disclosure Project for Cities (CDP for Cities) platform. Free registration to CDP is required to view responses.
This metric is maintained by the Sustainability Group within the City Manager’s Office at the City.
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This plan will eliminate emissions from new buildings by 2030 through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and is the next step to advance the Renewable City Strategy.
Learn how we plan to save Vancouver residents and businesses over $90 million and 160,000 tonnes of GHGs per year by 2020.
The Neighbourhood Energy Strategy will help develop additional neighbourhood energy systems throughout Vancouver.
Want to save energy and money? If you're a FortisBC customer and live in a single-family, duplex, or townhome, you may qualify for our Smart Thermostat Pilot Program.