Commercial new construction performance incentives

This program encourages the construction of buildings that achieve higher energy performance beyond the minimum levels required by the BC Building Code. Using the new BC Energy Step Code, you can decide how to achieve the energy efficiency goals of your project and, as a result, reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, save money and increase occupant comfort.

Eligibility

  1. The project must be located in a FortisBC natural gas and/or electricity service area, including municipal utilities of Grand Forks, Penticton, Summerland and Nelson Hydro.
  2. The program is for the construction of new Part 3 commercial buildings only.
  3. Projects must be in the pre-construction phase when applying to the program.

Review all the terms and conditions.

Program details

The program offers a clear incentive structure based on the performance levels of the new BC Energy Step Code, offering accurate energy-saving estimates and allowing for innovative solutions to help you achieve whole-building energy performance. If your project is located in an area that hasn’t yet adopted Step Code requirements, your building may still be eligible for incentives.

This program may be right for you if:

  1. Your project is commercial, institutional, multi-unit residential or light industrial.
  2. You are planning to design a building with a better energy performance than the BC Building Code.
  3. You are planning to implement energy-efficient technologies.
  4. You are considering completing an energy model study to evaluate how your building will perform.

If these do not describe your project, you may want to consider individual high-efficiency product rebates instead.

How the incentive is calculated

The incentive is customized for each project, determined by the level of energy performance, interior square footage and the Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI) supplied by natural gas and/or FortisBC electricity. The higher performing the building, the greater the indoor floor space and the more share of the building’s energy that is supplied by FortisBC, the bigger the incentive.

Select the path appropriate for your building’s type and location:

Path 1: For the following building types, incentives are based on the BC Energy Step Code


Building type BC Energy Step Code performance target Incentive factor Maximum incentive
Multi-unit residential Step 2 $0.70/sq. ft. x indoor floor area (sq. ft.) x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC $500,000 per year
Step 3 $1.40/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Step 4 and higher $2.10/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Office and retail Step 2 $1.80/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Step 3 and higher $3.40/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Example

A 120,000 sq. ft. office building is constructed in Vancouver and is subject to the BC Energy Step Code. Natural gas will be supplied by FortisBC and electricity by BC Hydro. Natural gas equipment will supply the space and water heating equaling 34 per cent of the TEUI, with the remaining 66 per cent supplied by electricity. The proposed building achieves Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code.

Building type BC Energy Step Code Incentive calculation
Office and retail Step 3 ($3.40/sq. ft.) $3.40/sq. ft. x 120,000 sq. ft. x .34 TEUI = $138,720

Incentives for mixed-use buildings based on BC Energy Step Code

Mixed-use buildings must be energy modelled to produce a single TEUI and thermal energy demand intensity (TEDI) for the building. The TEUI and TEDI should be compared with the whole-building targets by area weighting using the highest of the following TEDI and TEUI target combinations that the building meets. Each building use will receive incentives as described in the table:

Building type BC Energy Step Code performance target Incentive factor Maximum incentive
  MURB, hotel or motel (Space A) Office and retail (Space B)    
Mixed use 2 2 ($0.70/sq. ft. x indoor floor area of Space A (sq. ft.) + $1.80/sq. ft. of Space B (sq. ft.)) x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC $500,000 per year
3 2 ($1.40/sq. ft. x Space A sq. ft. + $1.80/sq. ft. x Space B sq. ft.) x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
4 3 ($2.10/sq. ft. x Space A sq. ft. + $3.40/sq. ft. x Space B sq. ft.) x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Example

An 80,000 sq. ft. mixed MURB and retail building is constructed in Surrey with 60,000 sq. ft. of residential space and 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space and is subject to the BC Energy Step Code. Natural gas will be supplied by FortisBC and electricity by BC Hydro. Residential heating will be electric, while the retail space will be heated by natural gas. A central condensing natural gas hot water heater will supply domestic hot water for the building. Natural gas will supply 40 per cent of the total building TEUI, and the building is expected to achieve Step 3 for MURB and Step 2 for retail.

Building type BC Energy Step Code Incentive calculation
MURB Step 3 ($1.40/sq. ft.) $1.40/sq. ft. x 60,000 sq. ft. x 0.40 TEUI = $33,600
Retail Step 2 ($1.80/sq. ft.) $1.80/sq.ft x 20,000 sq.ft. x 0.40 TEUI = $14,400
    Total incentive = $48,000

Path 2: For commercial buildings not subject to the BC Energy Step Code, incentives are based on energy performance over BC Building Code minimum levels

Building type Performance target % better than BC Building Code Incentive factor Maximum incentive
Multi-unit residential outside Climate Zone 6 and higher 10-20% $0.70/sq. ft. x indoor floor area (sq. ft.) x %
TEUI supplied by FortisBC
$500,000 per year
21-40% $1.40/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
>40% $2.10/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Office and retail outside Climate Zone 6 and higher 10-20% $1.80/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
21-30% $2.20/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
>30% $3.40/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Other building types not subject to BC Energy Step Code (e.g. hospitals, schools, churches, institutional) 10-20% $1.80/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
21-30% $2.20/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
>30% $3.40/sq. ft. x sq. ft. x % TEUI supplied by FortisBC
Example

A 100,000 sq. ft. care centre being built in Kelowna is not subject to the BC Energy Step Code. FortisBC will supply both the natural gas and electricity equaling 100 per cent TEUI. The centre will be built 22 per cent better than BC Building Code.

Building type Performance target Incentive calculation
Other (institutional) 22% better than BC Building Code ($2.20/sq. ft.) $2.20/sq. ft. x 100,000 sq. ft. x 1.0 TEUI = $220,000

The incentive is payable in two instalments

Energy model completion incentive

Paid at the completion and approval of an energy model study to help you with the cost of a detailed engineering analysis of your facility. The incentive is equal to 10 per cent of the total incentive as verified by the model, to a maximum of $25,000.

Post-completion incentive

Paid after construction and commissioning is complete, subject to a successful site inspection. The incentive is equal to the final total incentive less the already paid energy model incentive.

How to apply

  1. Review the Commercial New Construction Performance Program Participant guide.
  2. Early in the design phase, contact your FortisBC key account manager, energy solutions manager or technical advisor to discuss your project. We’ll then schedule a project kick-off meeting between you, your design team and FortisBC to see if the project is a good candidate for program participation.

We’re here to help

If you have questions, contact your key account manager, energy solutions manager or technical advisor, call 1-866-884-8833 or email commercialrebates@fortisbc.com