VISION FOR ZERO EMISSION BUILDINGS
Our community’s buildings are exceptionally energy efficient and powered, heated, and cooled with 100 percent renewable energy.
Targets to slash building emissions in half by 2030:
- Ensure that, by 2030, all new and replacement space- and water-heating systems emit zero emissions.
- Ensure that, each year, 10% of existing homes undergo deep energy retrofits or convert to zero carbon fuel sources for space and water heating.
In British Columbia’s regions, buildings account for:
|Region||Community Emissions from Buildings|
|Vancouver Island and Coastal||30%|
|Kootenay and Boundary||42%|
THE BUILDINGS BIG MOVES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Step Up New Buildings
- Adopt the BC Energy Step Code and supplement with incentives targeting zero-emissions heating systems.
- Require building energy labelling and benchmarking.
- Support the building industry through the transition to high-performance, low carbon construction.
Retrofit Existing Buildings
- Investigate financing mechanisms to enable deep energy retrofits
- Lower barriers to heat-pump adoption
- Coordinate with the provincial government to establish retrofit requirements
If we are to avoid the very worst impacts of climate change, we will need to slash the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of new buildings by 2030, and effectively eliminate them from all building operations by 2050. To achieve these goals, governments and industry must target zero emissions for all new buildings being planned today. We must also pay the same attention to existing buildings; as building owners and managers retire or replace gas- and oil-fired hot water tanks, furnaces, and boilers, they must swap them out units with clean, efficient, and non-emitting alternatives.
There are many good reasons to do so. High-performance, energy-efficient buildings save residents and businesses money on utility bills, and provide more comfortable, healthy spaces to live, work, and learn. Such buildings more effectively manage temperature and fresh air supply, keeping them cooler in summer and warmer in winter. They’re also more durable and resilient in the face of extreme weather events.
Whether we are ensuring energy-efficient new buildings or decarbonizing existing ones, we must begin with energy efficiency. Well-insulated and airtight building envelopes and energy efficient mechanical systems are core to this action. However, when it comes to buildings, a switch to 100 per cent renewable fuel sources, such as electricity and 100% permanently committed renewable gas, will make the biggest greenhouse-gas emissions impact.
Alongside involvement and support of other orders of government, utilities, and the private sector, these Big Moves will help put us on the path to the long term goal that all buildings must net out their operational emissions by 2050.