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Energy requirements for single family home renovations

The 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) requires that you perform energy-efficient measures when you renovate your home. Any new work must also comply with the VBBL including ventilation systems, walls, roof, and room additions.

Renovating a larger building? Visit the energy requirements for large and retail and commercial buildings page.

VBBL upgrades depend on the year of the home and the cost of the project. Homes built after 2009 do not require an EnerGuide assessment.

Home renovations may require the following:

Total project cost EnerGuide Home Evaluation and upgrades required?
Less than $5,000 Not required
$5000 to $24,999 EnerGuide Home Evaluation
$25,000 to $49,999 EnerGuide Home Evaluation + air sealing
More than $50,000 EnerGuide Home Evaluation + air sealing + improve attic insulation

 Questions? Call 3-1-1 to talk to City of Vancouver staff about your total project cost. 

How to meet your renovation energy upgrade requirements

Speak with experts from the BC Home Energy Coach Program and the City of Vancouver.

1. Talk to an Energy Coach for general information

The BC Home Energy Coach Program is unbiased, expert advice for all stages of your energy-saving home improvement project. It explains draft-proofing, insulation, ventilation, heating and cooling systems, water-heating systems, windows and doors, and appliances and lighting. It also includes easy-to-use tools, guidelines to EnerGuide and contractors, and incentive rebates and offers.

2. Talk to City of Vancouver staff for specific information.

When you call, staff will direct you to a department that can help you.

  • Phone: 3-1-1.
  1. Does your renovation require a permit?
  2. Does your renovation require an EnerGuide evaluation?​
  3. Is your home a registered heritage home or City-registered character home?

An Energy Advisor will come to your home and perform your EnerGuide Home Evaluation from basement to attic. 

After the Energy Advisor leaves your home, they prepare an EnerGuide Home Report that they share with you. It includes an EnerGuide rating and recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades.

The Energy Advisor will also notify the City on your behalf of the energy efficiency upgrades to be included in your renovation. It's required by the current building bylaw.

For Energy Advisors and building professionals

As an Energy Advisor, you conduct EnerGuide home assessments and ensure homes under NRCan’s energy efficiency housing initiatives  meet the required standards. We've gathered some tools and resources for your quick reference.

Energy models we accept:


Information for clients


To reduce air leaks as much as possible and achieve air-tightness below 3.5 air changes per hour, read:

Better walls and envelopes

Windows and doors

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)

Solar rooftop installations

Resources for homeowners

Green renovation overview (498.43 KB)

What is a green renovation, and why consider one? This overview guide explains how a green renovation works, shows you what it can look like, and gives helpful project tips.

Green home salvage and reuse (927.56 KB)

This 16-page guide is full of tips about how to reuse and recycle used building materials. Save money and be gentler on the planet.

Home energy audit (1122.72 KB)

A tour of your home, using this guide and checklist will help you learn how well your home operates, and what upgrades can improve its performance.

Hiring a pro (1185.18 KB)

A green renovation requires a new approach to design and construction. Make sure you get help from professionals who understand this new approach.

Roofing (1510.71 KB)

The choices you make when re-roofing your home can help protect the environment - and your budget.

Landscaping (2508.34 KB)

Using low maintenance and non-toxic materials for your landscape can give you beautiful results. Get these tips for lanscape elements, from pathways to pergolas.

Lighting (1353.96 KB)

Energy efficient lighting can be both stylish and functional. Learn how to incorporate creative green lighting into your home.

Painting (935.31 KB)

The wrong paint can affect air quality inside your house, and cause smog outside. Learn to choose paints that meet your needs, while protecting air quality.

Kitchen (1237.20 KB)

Use this guide to make sure your new sustainable kitchen is not only durable, safe, and efficient, but welcoming, too.

Bath and laundry (957.78 KB)

Bathrooms use large amounts of water and energy. Use this guide to help make important decicions about energy saving fixtures, flooring, and more.

Green homes buyer's guide (715.46 KB)

This two-page guide explains what makes a home a green home, includes details about green features, and provides 10 questions to ask about your future home.

Ask the Energy Coach

Call 1-844-881-9790

Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Visit bcenergycoach.ca .

Contact us

Talk to City staff about renovations or new home updates.

EnerGuide and Energy Advisors

EnerGuide is a Canadian rating system for energy consumption. It describes a home’s energy efficiency. Energy Advisors are experts who are certified by Natural Resources Canada. They perform energy efficiency home evaluations according to EnerGuide standards, and provide advice and recommendations to both homeowners and home building professionals.

Do you need a permit for your renovation?

Most common renovation, construction, or maintenance projects require a city permit.

Find out if you need a permit for your project, and learn the value of the City's permitting system.

See if you need a permit