Buildings and communities

Through CleanBC, the Province is raising the standards for new construction, encouraging energy-saving improvements in existing homes, schools and workplaces, and supporting communities in reducing greenhouse gases and preparing for the effects of climate change.

A cityscape with apartments, houses and other buildings. 

On this page: 

Find rebates and programs

Buildings and communities in 2030

As part of B.C.’s 2030 commitment to reduce province-wide emissions by 40% from 2007 levels, B.C. has set a target to reduce emissions in buildings and communities by more than a half by 2030. The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 (9Mb PDF) maps out the most promising routes to reach these targets and sets the course to fulfil our net-zero commitment by 2050.

Here are some ways our buildings and infrastructure could look different in 2030 based on the Roadmap to 2030:

  • All new buildings in B.C. will be zero-carbon, so no new climate pollution will be added to the atmosphere from new buildings after this point
  • All new space and hot water equipment will be at least 100% efficient, significantly reducing emissions compared to current combustion technology

How we're making buildings cleaner

B.C. is improving regulations and providing incentives to ensure new and existing buildings are energy efficient and use cleaner energy.

New construction

  • Under the Roadmap to 2030, B.C. will add a new carbon pollution standard to the BC Building Code, to make all new buildings zero carbon by 2030
  • The Province will support local governments to set carbon pollution performance standards for new buildings via a provincial opt-in regulation
  • The BC Energy Step Code provides a path for builders and local governments to prepare for and reach energy efficiency standards earlier
  • The CleanBC Building Innovation Fund supports research, demonstration and development of low carbon building materials, construction methods and building components to make them more affordable and accessible to British Columbians
  • BC Housing’s Mobilizing Building Adaptation and Resilience (MBAR) Project helps building owners and professionals plan, design and construct buildings that are safe, comfortable and resilient to heavier rainfall, hotter summers and other climate change impacts
  • The Pacific Climate Impact Consortium provides future-shifted weather files that can be used to plan and design new buildings to help reduce the impacts and risks of climate change
  • B.C. will work with industry and others to develop and improve low carbon building materials, like mass timber, a climate-friendly material that can replace more carbon-intensive steel and concrete and help reduce construction waste

Building improvements

  • B.C. is introducing a Clean Buildings Tax Credit, effective April 1, 2022 until April 1, 2025, to encourage major retrofits for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings that meet CleanBC standards 
  • Effective April 1, 2022, a PST exemption on heat pumps and an increase to 12% PST on fossil fuel heating equipment will help fund a new incentive to make heat pumps more affordable in rural and northern communities
  • The Clean BC Better Homes and Better Buildings programs provide rebates and support for homeowners and businesses to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in new and existing buildings
  • The CleanBC Better Homes Low-Interest Financing Program provides loans with interest rates as low as 0% for switching from fossil fuel heating systems to heat pumps
  • As part of the Roadmap to 2030, all space and water heating equipment sold and installed in B.C. after 2030 will be at least 100% efficient (electric baseboards and water heaters meet this standard, heat pumps are even more efficient)
  • The Province will proceed with the next steps on a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, an alternative financing option to help building owners invest in energy retrofits
  • B.C. regularly updates its Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation to improve products that use or control energy. A 2021 update increased standards for computer monitors, gas boilers and residential windows
  • B.C. is developing an Existing Buildings Renewal Strategy. The strategy will consider regulatory options to ensure existing buildings are more energy efficient, lower carbon and resilient to events like earthquakes, wildfires, heat waves and floods
  • Both the Province and Codes Canada have mandates to create an energy efficiency code for alterations to existing buildings by 2024.  B.C. is working with Codes Canada on this shared mandate
  • As part of the Roadmap to 2030, B.C. will put tools in place so that home sales will include an energy efficiency rating or label, motivating owners to invest in retrofits knowing it will impact future salability

Clean government

  • Since 2010, the Carbon Neutral Government program has ensured B.C.’s public sector organizations are carbon neutral through a combination of energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy and carbon offsets
  • The CleanBC Government Buildings Program is retrofitting government facilities to make them more energy efficient and cut greenhouse gas emissions. B.C. aims to have all new government facilities using 100% clean energy starting in 2022
  • Under the Roadmap to 2030, the Province will establish zero carbon requirements for new public sector buildings by 2027, beginning with performance standards by 2023
  • All government procurement and spending and funding decisions will be screened for climate outcomes under the Roadmap to 2030

How communities are taking climate action

Through programs and shared funding opportunities B.C. is supporting local governments and First Nations as they reduce emissions in their communities and prepare for the effects of a changing climate.

Getting ready for climate change

  • Working with communities to adapt to climate change is one of four key pathways in B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy
  • Retooling for Climate Change provides Indigenous and local governments, public sector organizations and businesses with resources and tools to prepare for the current and coming effects of climate change
  • The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund helps Indigenous communities and local governments reduce their wildfire and flood risks and respond to climate emergencies
  • The Community Resiliency Investment Program provides $60 million to assist local governments and Indigenous communities to mitigate local wildfire threats, including support for FireSmart projects
  • The Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation Program provides federal and provincial funding for infrastructure projects that help communities adapt to climate-related flooding
  • Under the Roadmap to 2030, the Province will continue to work with federal partners, local governments and Indigenous communities to ensure that B.C.’s future infrastructure is clean, low carbon and able to withstand the impacts of a changing climate

Clean and sustainable communities

How we're reducing and reusing waste

CleanBC aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by keeping recyclable materials, food and organic waste out of landfills and by supporting the capture of landfill gases.

Preventing waste

  • The CleanBC Plastics Action Plan includes actions to use less plastic, including approval of plastic bans in five communities, expanded beverage container recycling and regulation of single-use plastic items
  • The $5 million Clean BC Plastics Action Fund was launched in 2020 under the StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan to help kickstart B.C.’s circular economy by enabling businesses to reduce their use of virgin plastics and make better use of post-consumer recycled plastic in manufacturing processes
  • Budget 2022 committed over $9 million to recapitalize the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund. This fund supports innovative plastic waste reduction projects across the province that reduce plastic waste, expand reuse of plastics and increase use of recycled plastic
  • B.C. has one of the most advanced recycling systems in North America with 21 industry-led programs covering 14 different categories of consumer goods such as packaging, electronics, beverage containers and much more
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to take responsibility for the life cycle of their products. B.C.’s EPR approach promotes the design of more easily recycled packaging and products, makes recycling more accessible and reduces waste management costs in communities
  • The EPR Five-year Action Plan identifies additional products and other potential diversion policies that will be addressed by 2025. This includes mattresses, compressed canisters (e.g., single-use fuel & fire extinguishers), electric vehicle and other battery types, medical sharps and packaging beyond residential sources


Turning waste into a resource

  • The Organics Infrastructure Program and CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program helps keep organic waste out of landfills by investing community-led projects such as compost facilities, anaerobic digestion facilities and collection programs for residential households
  • Under the Roadmap to 2030, B.C. will develop a strategy for a circular economy, where waste is eliminated and resources are reused, repaired, recycled and reintroduced as new products 

Find rebates and programs

For local governments

B.C. Community Climate Funding Guide 

Local Government Climate Action Program (LGCAP) provides flexible funding for local governments and Modern Treaty Nations to fund local climate action

Grants (check for intake dates):

For Indigenous communities

B.C. Community Climate Funding Guide

Grants (check for intake dates):

Rebates and support:

Read our plans and reports