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Carbon pollution limits and reporting for existing large commercial and multi-family buildings

By 2030, we’re aiming to cut our carbon pollution from buildings in half compared to 2007 levels.

What you need to know

Do you own, manage, or operate a large commercial or multi-family building in Vancouver? We are introducing regulations that will require large buildings to report their energy consumption and carbon pollution (aka greenhouse gas emissions) annually, followed by limits on carbon pollution that will be phased in by building type. 

Background

Multi-family and commercial buildings represent 50% of Vancouver’s building-related carbon pollution.

As part of the  Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP), City staff are tackling these emissions with a first-of-its-kind regulation in Canada: a hard cap on carbon pollution from commercial buildings that will lower over time. This means these buildings will produce less climate emissions by switching to renewable energy and technology to future-proof them to our changing climate.

2022 summary of regulation requirements

From 2019 to early 2022, City staff engaged building owners, managers, utilities, and other industry stakeholders on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission regulations for existing large office and retail buildings. 

Following this engagement, Council approved staff recommendations to introduce annual energy and carbon reporting requirements, GHG intensity (GHGi) limits and Heat Energy Limits. Review the Council report (797 KB) and amendments for more details 

Regulatory requirements implementation timeline

  • 2024

    Annual energy and carbon reporting:

    • Commercial ≥ 9,290 m2 (100,000 ft2)

  • 2025

    Annual energy and carbon reporting:

    • Commercial ≥ 4,645 m2 (50,000 ft2)
    • Multi-family ≥ 9,290 m2 (100,000 ft2)

  • 2026

    Annual energy and carbon reporting:

    • Multi-family≥ 4,645 m2 (50,000 ft2)

  • 2027

    GHGi limits come into effect for commercial office and retail buildings ≥ 9,290 m2 (100,000 ft2):

    • Office = 25 kg CO2e/m2/year
    • Retail = 14 kg CO2e/m2/year

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Regulatory roadmap timeline – preliminary, draft phasing

  • 2022-2024

    • Analysis and stakeholder consultation on performance and prescriptive regulations
    • Launching of initial multi-family owner supports and multi-family/commercial demonstration programs
    • Recommendations for 2026–2040 brought to Council
  • 2026

    Time-of-replacement requirements come into effect for select, secondary, and amenity heating equipment; for example:

    • Pools
    • Fireplaces and decorative gas appliances
    • Rooftop heating units
    • Make-up-air units
    • Sub-metering requirements for major heating and hot water equipment
  • 2030

    Updated GHGi for office and retail > 9,290 m2

    GHGi Limit effective for:

    • Office and retail > 4,645 m2
    • Hotels > 4,645 m2
    • Assembly > 32,500 m2
    • Other Commercial building types > 4,645 m2 (TBD)
    • Multi-family buildings > 9,290 m2
  • 2030-2032

    Phased deadlines for equipment replacement of select secondary heating equipment, potentially including:

    • Rooftop heating units
    • Make-up-air units
    • Pools
    • Fireplaces and decorative gas appliances
  • 2040-2050

    GHGi limits for commercial and multi-family buildings > 4,645 m2 (all uses):

    • 0 kg CO2e/m2 /year
    • Heat energy limit for additional commercial building types

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