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Energize Vancouver: helping owners track and improve energy performance and emissions

March 12, 2024  By  Anthony Capkun

March 12, 2024 – The City of Vancouver announced that its new Energize Vancouver resource hub will support owners of large existing buildings track and improve energy performance and reduce building emissions.

Owners and property managers of large office, retail, and multi-family buildings in Vancouver can access the hub to report their building’s energy use and GHG emissions (ahead of the June 1 deadline) while learning about future requirements to reduce emissions with how-to guides, videos, resources, and other support tools.

Energize Vancouver is a multi-year initiative dedicated to upgrading and retrofitting Vancouver’s large existing commercial and multi-family buildings “to provide healthier, safer, and more comfortable indoor spaces while reducing emissions and improving energy performance”.

The resource hub is designed to support building owners and managers in understanding and complying with current and upcoming requirements, including:


Energy and carbon reporting (starting in 2024): annual reporting of energy use and carbon pollution for buildings larger than 100,000 square feet. Building owners will need to use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to benchmark their building’s annual energy and carbon use, and submit a report via the City’s Building Performance Reporting.
Greenhouse gas intensity (GHGi) Limits (starting in 2026): compliance with specified annual GHGi limits for office and retail buildings (100,000 sf or more), which will progressively lower over time.
Heat energy limits (starting in 2040): meeting specified limits for natural gas and district energy consumed by office and retail buildings (100,000 sf or more).
Future compliance: Stay informed about upcoming regulations and proactively plan for retrofits, efficiency measures, and investments in renewable energy sources to reduce GHG emissions.

To avoid fines and penalties, building owners and managers need to plan ahead and report their energy use and GHG emissions on time, says the city.

As part of the city’s commitment to reduce emissions from buildings by 50% by 2030, council approved the Annual Greenhouse Gas and Energy Limits Bylaw to:

• Reduce the GHG emissions produced by existing commercial and multi-family buildings.
• Accelerate the shift to healthier, more affordable, and more resilient homes, offices, and retail stores.

The city says it is phasing the bylaw’s implementation, and prioritizing larger buildings “with more capacity to retrofit and make energy efficiency upgrades”.

By providing a clear regulatory roadmap and phasing implementation also provides building owners and managers time to understand the current performance of buildings, investigate incentives and financing, and plan any needed improvements or equipment replacement in their capital plans, added the city.

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