About EnerGuide Reports for Vancouver Renovation Permits

As of January 1, 2015, one- or two- family homes completing renovations valued at over $5,000 in the City of Vancouver require reports from an energy advisor to obtain a renovation permit in order to comply with the updated City of Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) 10908. Book a home energy evaluation today!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Do I Need to Do?

  • Before you renovate, complete a home energy evaluation (Book one today!).
  • You will receive three documents by email from your energy advisor:
    • Homeowner Information Sheet - provides you with modeled energy and GHG usage in your home.
    • Renovation Upgrade Report – provides you with customized, prioritized, building-science based advice on how to save energy in your home.
    • Full House Report - detailed list of home energy efficiency information.
  • In some cases, energy efficiency improvements will be required in order to pass City inspection. For details, visit the City of Vancouver’s website. In brief, here are the requirements:
Construction valueUpgrade level
Renovation applications with a value greater than $5,000 but not more than $25,000Provide an EnerGuide (EGH) report completed within the last 4 years. If work includes replacement of boiler or furnace, annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) must be equal to or greater than 90%.
Renovation applications with a value greater than $25,000 but not more than $50,000  As above, plus:If EGH report indicates greater than 5 air changes per hour, building envelope air sealing is required.
Renovation applications with a value greater than $50,000As above, plus:
  • If attic insulation is less than R12 (2.11 RSI) increase to R28 (4.93 RSI). 
  • If attic insulation is equal to or greater than R12 (2.11 RSI) increase to R40 (7.04RSI). 
  • Attic insulation should not exceed R43.7 (7.7RSI)

2. Do I need a permit for my renovations?
Contact the City of Vancouver at 311 to discuss your renovation plans before you start.

3. What condition does my house need to be in to have the energy evaluation?
Your home must be "habitable" (details here), including the following:

  • Space and water heating systems must be on site at the time of the evaluation. The heating system has to be (or have been in the case of a broken system) capable of heating the home to 21oC
  • The building envelope must be in a suitable condition for an airtightness test. Ceilings, exterior walls, foundation walls, exposed floors, interior finish, windows, doors, and skylights must be intact.

4. What if my home is not in a condition to have an evaluation?
If your home is not in a state where an energy evaluation can be performed, you must:

  1. Pre-pay for your energy evaluation (contact City Green at 604-255-5734).
  2. Present the receipt and documentation from City Green stating that your home was not in a state for an energy evaluation to the City of Vancouver when applying for your permit.
  3. Complete your energy evaluation as soon as your home is in a state where an evaluation can take place, and before your inspection from the City. See here for details.
  4. Present the reports from your energy advisor to the inspector during the final City of Vancouver inspection.

5. What is air sealing, and how do I prove to the City that I’ve completed it?
During your energy evaluation, your energy advisor will test the air leakage in your home using a blower door depressurization test. Your air leakage results will be recorded in your reports. If your home has more than 5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals of pressure (5ACH @ 50Pa), you will be required to complete air sealing upgrades, which are a simple, inexpensive, and very effective way to improve home comfort and efficiency. Your advisor will let you know about ensuring adequate ventilation and if there are any concerns with backdrafting of combustion gases when you complete air sealing improvements. Save your receipts from your air sealing purchases, and provide them to the City of Vancouver building inspector at your final inspection.

Air Sealing Resources:

6. What is an EnerGuide home evaluation?
An EnerGuide home evaluation with an energy advisor provides you with expert advice and a customized retrofit plan so that you can save money on your energy bills, improve your home’s health and comfort, and reduce your home’s environmental impact. Read more.