Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability
This report advances the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) Big Move 4 targets to reduce operating emissions in existing detached homes by 50% of 2007 levels by 2030. This initial
phase proposes amendments to the Vancouver Building By-law for existing one and two family homes. The proposed amendments are:
1. Starting January 1, 2023, all permanently installed new air conditioning systems in existing detached homes must function to provide both low carbon heating and cooling.
2. Starting January 1, 2023, renovations with a construction value over $250,000 will be required to electrify their existing space heating and hot water systems to the same requirements in Building Bylaw for new construction.
These changes will be supported with the continuation of the current municipal top-up rebates for electric heat pump equipment, the further development of homeowner support programs and pilot programs to address identified barriers to home retrofits, and the continued streamlining of City permitting processes.
After analysis of implementation impacts, staff determined that additional time is needed to develop regulations for space and hot water heating that do not burden City permit processes while allowing for alternate compliance approaches in circumstances when electrification is challenging. This report acknowledges the urgency for climate action and staff will bring a subsequent report in 2023 to address the next steps in achieving the CEAP targets for existing detached homes.
Further to the above, this report includes certain housekeeping changes intended to incorporate miscellaneous clarifications and errata to the affected provisions and the notes in the Building By-law with respect to existing building and energy efficiency language related to windows and upgrade requirements, to better support users of the Code
- This report represents initial requirements to reduce emissions from existing detached homes. The regulatory amendments in this report represent a total reduction of 4,200 tonnes CO 2 per year by 2030, the equivalent of taking 1,050 cars off the road.
- These requirements represent the initial step in reducing emissions from existing one and two family homes. Staff will continue to work with partners such as Province, BC Hydro and the Building to Electrification Coalition (B2E) to expand public awareness, increase contractor capacity, and reduce barriers to heat pump adoption. Staff will also be working further with industry and other partners to develop time of replacement requirements for space and water heating that allow for easy permitting and provide owners with options for compliance in those cases when electrification creates undue challenges.
- Recommendations on these future requirements will be brought for Council consideration in 2023. Staff will seek to align these additional recommendations with the CleanBC 2030 Roadmap directions to Provincial staff to establish 2030 regulations for heating and hot water equipment and to regulate a reduction in all emissions from natural gas by nearly 50%. Additional clarity on these are anticipated later in 2022.
- Analysis of these potential additional 2023 Vancouver requirements combined with the initial regulations recommended in this report, historic reductions, voluntary heat pump retrofits, replacement of heating and hot water systems, and significant increases in the supply of renewable gas already underway indicate that a 50% reduction in emissions from existing one and two family homes is achievable, as shown in the chart below.