Minister Carole James presented the 2019 BC Budget on Feb 19th, 2019.  How does that affect you as a building operator and home owner?

For commercial buildings, the changes are targeted towards achieving net-zero buildings and reducing green house gas emissions.   $3M has been allocated in the new budget towards development of net-zero energy code and new energy standards.  There is also a plan to adopt the National Energy Code for existing buildings by 2024.  In addition, a total of $40 million dollars has been allocated to improve and retrofit public buildings to improve energy efficiency. 

For homeowners, the changes are targeted towards expanding energy efficiency incentives for mechanical equipment.  A total of $41 million dollars has been allocated for incentives including up to $14,000 for each homeowner for energy efficient heating retrofits and $2000 for replacing fossil fuel heating with electric heat pumps.   In addition, there are proposed regulations in 2020 requiring natural gas use to have be a minimum of 15% from renewable sources.  FortisBC currently sells renewable natural gas in the form of reclaimed gas from waste water treatment and farms at a certain premium.

Overall, out of a total of $902 Million allocated in the new budget for CleanBC projects, about $108 million has been allocated for building related projects.  The changes for the buildings are aligned with the province’s goal to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.