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Energy Efficiency


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Energy efficiency refers to using programs, technologies and designs that require less energy to provide the same services as conventional systems. Energy efficiency improvements reduce demand which can directly lower consumer energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may defer the need to invest in new energy supplies.

Provincial Energy Planning and Legislation

The Government of BC is committed to creating a legacy of energy efficiency. The following Provincial plans contain strategies that support energy efficiency in British Columbia:

The Energy Efficiency Act and Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation set energy performance standards for devices that use, control or affect the use of energy, such as:

  • household appliances (washers, fridges),
  • heating systems (furnaces, boilers, heat pumps),
  • cooling systems (air conditioners),
  • lighting (ballasts and fluorescent bulbs), and
  • some industrial equipment (motors and transformers).

Local Government Infrastructure and Planning

Smart community design helps save energy. Local governments can improve community energy efficiency by using Regional Growth Strategies and Official Community Plans to manage growth in a manner that supports economic, social and environmental objectives. The Federal Office of Energy Efficiency provides a wealth of resources that can help communities plan for a more energy efficient future.

Long-term planning can yield significant savings in infrastructure implementation and operation, while reducing the negative impacts of high energy consumption. More efficient transportation corridors, less pollution, increased green spaces and reduced negative environmental impacts are all results of effective community design.

Local governments undertaking community energy plans or studies related to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions are eligible to receive funding up to $10,000 from the Local Government Department's Infrastructure Planning Grant Program.


The Department also provides advice and guidance on how local governments can improve energy efficiency through:

Capital grant programs provide funding for projects that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and facilities owned by local government. The following energy efficiency projects have been funded under the Canada/BC Infrastructure Program:

Energy Efficiency Certification Programs

Energy efficiency and sustainability can be further implemented through certification programs, such as:
  • Canada Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification distinguishes new building or major renovations that are meeting high performance standards in environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.
  • Building and Owners Managers Association of BC (BOMA)-Go Green program is a national environmental recognition and certification program for existing buildings.

Greenhouse Gases

Energy planning and consumption impacts the types and the level of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Emission Assessment Guide, provides local governments with background information and guidance for calculating GHG emissions for various common infrastructure types.


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