Zero-Emission Buildings - Retrofits

We'll work with homeowners, businesses and all levels of government to achieve net-zero emissions from existing homes and buildings

Existing buildings account for 39% of Burnaby’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—and represent one of the biggest opportunities for emission reductions. Our goal is to have existing buildings transitioned to low carbon energy sources for space heating and hot water by 2050, resulting in zero-emission homes and businesses throughout the city. Electric heat pumps are a primary technology in this transition.

Retrofits are one of the most challenging areas of climate action for local governments because:

  • there are few points of contact between local governments and existing home and building owners regarding energy use and options
  • significant energy efficiency upgrades can have high up-front costs (even if these costs are recovered through energy savings over time)
  • the number of existing residential units is significant—92,000

To tackle this challenge, the City has developed a Zero-Emission Building Retrofit Strategy. The Building Retrofit Strategy looks at how the city can help residents understand the process of retrofitting their homes to lower GHG emissions and explain how the municipality is designing policies and actions to guide them through this process. Building on the work of the Urban Resilient Futures Initiative—Zero-Emission Building Retrofit Task Force, the Strategy aims to establish a pathway for supporting large-scale adoption of energy efficiency upgrading and low carbon fuel switching in Burnaby’s existing buildings, and to accelerate a complete transition to zero-emission heating, cooling and hot water systems.

The City has also developed a Climate-Friendly Home Upgrades resource to help residents understand the options for home retrofits and learn about the government support that’s available to assist them.

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