Zero-Emission Buildings - Retrofits

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

Burnaby’s goal is to have existing buildings in Burnaby transitioned to low carbon energy sources for space heating and hot water by 2050, resulting in zero emission homes and businesses throughout the city. 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 with regard to energy use and options
  • significant energy efficiency upgrades can be costly (compared to new construction)
  • the number of existing residential units is significant–92,000

The City of Burnaby has developed a Zero-Emission Building Retrofit Strategy to help property owners understand the process of retrofitting their homes to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and explain how the municipality is designing policies and actions to help them through this process. Building on the work of the Urban Resilient Futures Initiative—Zero-Emission Building Retrofit Task Force, the Building Retrofit 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.


A transition to zero emission existing buildings, through the increased use of zero emission space heating and hot water systems, will directly reduce community emissions and could account for 34% of emission reductions by 2050.

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