A new tax credit will make energy retrofits for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings more affordable, saving owners 5% on retrofits to help reduce their energy use.
“Building owners want to reduce the energy use of their home, office or retail space but the upfront costs of these retrofits can be a challenge for people,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “This Clean Building Tax Credit will help owners of larger, often older and energy-inefficient buildings invest in cleaner energy retrofits by putting dollars back into their pockets.”
The Clean Building Tax Credit supports the CleanBC commitment to reduce provincewide emissions by 40% from 2007 levels and aligns with B.C.’s target to reduce emissions in buildings and communities by more than half by 2030.
“Our government is working hard to give people, businesses and communities the supports they need to reduce their energy use – and energy bills – through programs like the Clean Buildings Tax Credit,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Improved energy efficiency means fewer emissions, which is good for our environment and brings our existing building infrastructure closer to net-zero and our climate targets.”
Buildings eligible for the Clean Buildings Tax Credit include residential buildings, commercial spaces and warehouses in the private sector. Examples include office spaces, food retail and purpose-built rentals.
“Our members want to be part of the climate change solution, but retrofits can be costly and do not always make financial sense,” said Damian Stathonikos, president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of B.C. “The tax credit helps reduce the retrofit cost for building owners and lowers energy expenses for tenants, while modernizing buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It benefits everyone involved, and the environment.”
The credit supports work involving building systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and building envelopes. A successful retrofit in the public sector is Vancouver’s Kitsilano Community Centre, which underwent heat-recovery improvements that nearly eliminated the need for natural gas to heat the facility. It also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80%. The Clean Buildings Tax Credit will support commercial and multi-unit residential buildings looking to complete similar retrofits.
“The Vancouver Park Board is a partner with the Province in understanding the need for us to all play our part in reducing energy use and our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Stuart Mackinnon, chair, Vancouver Park Board. “It’s great to see an opportunity for commercial and multi-unit residential building owners that supports retrofits like the one completed at the Kitsilano Community Centre because reducing B.C.’s emissions requires support from all sectors.”
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 and is meeting made-in-B.C. targets through a qualifying retrofit before applying for certification with the Ministry of Finance. Qualified professionals include architects, a qualified energy adviser certified by Natural Resource Canada, and engineers.
“We’re working with clients every day who are looking for avenues to reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, but many don’t know where to get started,” said Robert Greenwald, president, Prism Engineering. “Programs offered though CleanBC and initiatives like the Clean Buildings Tax Credit will help support them to achieve energy, carbon and cost saving today and going forward.”
The Clean Buildings Tax Credit aligns with the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, which maps out the most promising routes to reach provincial greenhouse gas emissions targets and sets the course to fulfil B.C.’s net-zero commitment by 2050. The Clean Buildings Tax Credit is open and ends March 31, 2025.
Find out how building owners can get the Clean Buildings Tax Credit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/corporate/credits/clean-buildings
Subscribe to the “What’s new in B.C. income taxes” page to get up-to-date information about the tax credit delivered to your email: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/whats-new/income-taxes
Learn more about CleanBC rebates and programs: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/clean-buildings.
Read the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030: www.cleanbc.ca
A backgrounder follows.