BOMA BC Advocacy Update Part 1: Climate Change
Whether you are a property manager, building operator, or contractor, government regulations and policies can impact your business with added costs and burdens.
That is why BOMA BC is excited to announce we will now issue a regular advocacy update to inform you of our government relations advocacy and regulatory changes that impact you.
We encourage you to read our regular updates and stay active in BOMA BC’s outreach efforts to ensure your perspective is heard.
Climate change regulations, property taxes, and permitting are just some of the issues that impact our industry, and BOMA BC works closely with all levels of government to advocate for constructive policies.
This update focuses on the climate change policies across BC.
BOMA BC President Damian Stathonikos with BC’s Minister of Finance, Minister of the Environment, and City of Vancouver officials discussing a new tax credit to help incentivize clean energy retrofits.
Climate Change Policies
Climate change is a priority for all levels of Government in BC. Local governments are increasingly developing policies to reduce carbon pollution from existing commercial buildings, and the Province is creating tax and financial incentives to help building owners improve building energy efficiency.
How are you impacted?
In the coming years, existing commercial buildings in several jurisdictions in BC will have to meet GHG emission intensity limits and mandatory carbon pollution reporting requirements.
Some buildings may require building recommissioning, tune-ups, fuel switching, upgrading HVAC systems, purchasing of more energy efficient heating and cooling systems at time of replacement, or even larger retrofits.
Local jurisdictions will be offering concierge services to help building owners navigate the retrofit process and will be streamlining permitting for energy retrofits to simplify the process.
It is important to stay abreast of the changes happening in your jurisdiction and advise BOMA BC of any challenges you may face to meet these requirements.
BOMA BC President Damian Stathonikos announcing BOMA BC’s support for the Province’s new 5% Clean Building Tax Credit.
Top climate change policies in BC jurisdictions:
- The City of Vancouver recently passed GHG emission intensity limits for existing commercial buildings larger than 100,000 ft2 starting in 2026, energy benchmarking reporting requirements for buildings over 100,000 ft2 starting in 2024, and heat energy limits for buildings 100,000 ft2 starting in 2040.
BOMA BC ensured the requirements were achievable within a reasonable timeline, and that they came with supports to assist with compliance (a recommissioning / “tune-up” program; retrofit planning and project support; and a helpdesk). Part 11 energy upgrade requirements were also repealed to streamline the process.
- On September 19th, 2022, a City of Burnaby Advisory Council will present a list of recommendations to Burnaby City Council to achieve GHG emission reductions from existing commercial buildings.
BOMA BC sat on the advisory council and advocated for sound incentive programs to encourage decarbonization, using carrots, rather than sticks. BOMA BC successfully advocated for recommendations that will streamline permitting for energy retrofits, and the creation of a “one-stop shop” concierge service to assist buildings in their decarbonization plans.
- Metro Vancouver represents 21 municipalities in the lower mainland, including the City of Vancouver. Metro Vancouver is in the initial stages of developing two approaches to improve air quality in the region (The City of Vancouver has already passed its own GHG limits and carbon reporting requirements): Mandating GHG limits from existing commercial buildings over 25,000 ft2, and regulatory changes to reduce NO2 emissions from new boilers and process heaters.
BOMA BC will engage with our membership to gain a better understanding of the overall preparedness of building owners outside Vancouver to comply with these potential regulatory changes, and what impact it will have on their portfolio.
BOMA BC consulting with the City of Vancouver on their greenhouse gas emission targets.
New energy retrofit incentives
Energy retrofits can be costly, and don’t always make sense. BOMA BC has long advocated for programs that incentivize building owners to make energy retrofits by reducing some of the costs, either through red tape reduction, financial incentives, or removing barriers to fuel switching.
We have made great strides with the Province through committee appearances, meetings, and general advocacy, and look forward to more wins.
We encourage BOMA BC members to utilize existing incentive programs and we will continue to advocate for additional incentives that assist building owners with clean energy retrofit costs.
BOMA BC meeting with BC’s Minister of Finance and Provincial Government officials discussing climate change and the role existing buildings have in reducing GHG emissions.
- 1. 5% Clean Buildings Tax Credit
The Province of BC has introduced a new 5% Clean Buildings Tax Credit. Commercial buildings that undertake retrofits to improve their energy efficiency and meet prescribed energy use targets can receive a refundable tax credit of 5% of eligible expenditures. To be eligible for the credit, building owners must work with a certified professional to determine that the energy use-intensity of their building has been reduced
- 2. PST Exemption on Heat Pumps
Effective April 1, 2022, heat pumps are now exempt from PST in British Columbia. This is paired with an increase to the PST on fossil fuel heating equipment to 12%. This is to incentivize the switch to heat pumps.
Make sure to follow along with our advocacy updates in our newsletter, emails, and social media. We will need input as we work with our government partners to ensure we have a favourable regulatory environment for the commercial real estate industry in BC.
If you have any questions, please contact our Government Relations Director, Zach Segal, at email@example.com.
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