Clean Building Tax Credit will help building owners reduce energy and save money

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, said on Wednesday.

“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.

Find out how building owners can get the Clean Buildings Tax Credit:


Applying for the Clean Buildings Tax Credit

The Clean Buildings Tax Credit is a refundable income-tax credit for qualifying retrofits that improve the energy efficiency of eligible commercial and multi-unit residential buildings.

For owners to be eligible, buildings must have four or more units.

Eligible building types include:

* a multi-unit residential building consisting of four or more dwellings

* accommodation (only includes buildings classified as class 6 property under the Assessment Act)

* food services

* logistics and warehousing

* long-term care

* offices

* retail – food

* retail – other

* other buildings classified as class 6 or class 8 property under the Assessment Act

Improvements that are eligible for the tax credit must reduce energy use intensity of the multi-unit building. Eligible improvements include:

* heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems

* fans

* interior and exterior lighting devices

* service water heating equipment

* pumps

* receptacle loads and miscellaneous equipment

* elevators and escalators

* building envelope, including improvement to the insulation

* permits required for, or for the rental of equipment used in the course of, the qualifying retrofit

* cost of work by qualified person certifying the retrofit

The Clean Buildings Tax Credit is claimed on a business’s income tax return filed with the Canada Revenue Agency. The credit must be claimed no later than 18 months after the end of the tax year after the tax year in which the retrofit was completed.