Reduce building permit delays, and do not delay implementing the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan 

Submission to the City of Vancouver RE: Item P1. Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force – First Bi-Monthly Update, June 8 Council Meeting

June 8, 2021

Policy Work | Submissions

June 8th, 2021 


Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Council 
City of Vancouver
453 West 12th Avenue Vancouver, BC  
V5Y 1V4 


Dear Mayor and Council: 


RE: Item P1. Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force – First Bi-Monthly Update, June 8 Council Meeting

Efficiency Canada is the national voice for an energy efficient economy. Our mission is to create a sustainable environment and better life for all Canadians by making our country a global leader in energy efficiency policy, technology, and jobs. We conduct rigorous policy analysis, communicate compelling narratives, and convene and mobilize Canada’s dynamic energy efficiency sector. Efficiency Canada is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.

We are writing to ask you to approve recommendation A, B, and C in the report, which will help reduce building permit delays, and vote down recommendation D which proposes a one-year delay in implementing the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan requirement that new homes be built with zero emissions heating and hot water requirements.

A chance for the City of Vancouver to demonstrate climate leadership 

British Columbia and Vancouver specifically have previously been highlighted in our work, particularly our Efficiency Scorecard, where B.C. received the highest rating in Canada amongst its peers. Vancouver and B.C.’s approach to buildings is generating long-term savings and healthy buildings for its citizens and delivering on a core pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. As demonstrated in the Vancouver Economic Commission’s report on the economic impact of the Vancouver Building Bylaw and the B.C. Energy Step Code, beyond obvious benefits to the environment and health, there is a market of over $3 billion for high-performance building products. This includes the market for zero-emissions space and hot water heating equipment and measures to encourage the uptake of such equipment can act a catalyst to grow and capture this emerging market.

Over the long-term, measures such as the zero-emissions homebuilding equipment rule can also lock-in the structural changes that the City of Vancouver needs to meet its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reach a net-zero emissions future. A one-year delay in implementing the zero-emissions homebuilding equipment rule would not only push back critical climate action by a year it will also result in a critical loss of momentum and climate leadership for the City of Vancouver.

We would be pleased to discuss further how building performance measures such as the requirement for zero-emissions homebuilding equipment can generate employment in the clean-energy economy, stimulate innovative clean technology and help the buildings sector demonstrate the City of Vancouver’s leadership in Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future. 



Kevin Lockhart
Efficient Buildings Lead, Efficiency Canada


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