BCSEA’s RetrofitBC program (formerly Green Landlords Project) aims squarely at a critical gap in government’s and utilities’ plans to foster energy efficiency in BC’s Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) (i.e. apartments, condominiums and housing co-ops). These buildings are not adequately targeted by conservation programs due to the problematic split between the energy user and the decision-maker for capital upgrades.
RetrofitBC has launched a pilot project to help facilitate retrofits to up to 15 MURBs in the City of Vancouver. The project provides professional support, incentives and preferred-rate financing. This project was originally referred to as “Green Condos,” but is now called the Green MURBs Pilot Project (GMPP).
GMPP helps building owners and managers through the retrofit process, coordinating building assessments and cost/benefit analysis, securing incentives and financing, and establishing contracts with companies that will undertake the retrofit work. GMPP aims to enable building owners to undertake retrofits without having to spend any of their own funds up-front, with the savings on their utility bills paying for the cost of financing. That means no special levies will be required, and the retrofits will result in a net benefit to the building’s operating budget.
This project creates a win-win opportunity. Building owners will save money, while doing their part to reduce environmental impacts.
GMPP has been made possible through the support of a number of organizations, including:
- The City of Vancouver (program funding and general support)
- Vancity (program funding and preferred rate financing)
- Vancity Community Foundation (program funding and incentives)
- The BC Ministry of Energy and Mines (program funding)
- FortisBC (incentives for specific retrofit measures); and
- BC Hydro (incentives for specific retrofit measures).
Green MURB Labeling Project
BCSEA also hopes to launch the Green MURB Labeling Project in 2012, coordinated with the Green MURBs Pilot Project (look for news on our website!). Working with support from the BC Government and coordinated with BC Hydro, we want to determine the best ways to measure (and verify) the energy performance of MURBs, and the best ways to convey this information to prospective owners and renters. Our goal is that, eventually, all home buyers and renters will be able to know in advance how energy efficient their homes will be, and what their energy bills will be. This is a critical part of making us all more energy aware. A robust energy labeling method for MURBs would have province-wide and even national application.
Green Landlords Project
BCSEA’s RetrofitBC project began in 2008 as the Green Landlords Project, researching how to get owners and tenants cooperating to achieve energy efficiency retrofits in apartment buildings. The Green Landlords Project is now seeking funding to begin a pilot phase, based on the Phase I findings.