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 two 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.
    • Renovation Energy Upgrade Proposal
  • In some cases, energy efficiency improvements will be required in order to pass City inspection. Requirements are summarized in the table below. For details, visit the City of Vancouver’s website
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 (e.g. work without permit, fire or water damaged; see #3 for details), you must submit a Renovation Energy Upgrade Proposal including the Alternative Upgrade section to the City of Vancouver that estimates energy use before renovation, states the upgrades planned, and the energy use once the upgrades are completed.

Contact City Green at 604-255-5734 to complete this Service (the 'VBBL Service'), which includes: 

  1. An initial site visit for data collection;
  2. Energy modelling in order to complete the Renovation Energy Upgrade Proposal; and
  3. A final site visit once renovations are completed to perform the blower door test and confirm completed renovations

The completion of Steps 1 & 2 of the VBBL Service does not constitute a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation and as a result cannot be used as such for any programs (e.g. Oil to Heat Pump Incentive Program or Home Renovation Rebate Program) that require a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. The VBBL Service will become a pre-retrofit evaluation only after the completion of Step 3.

You need to present the Renovation Energy Upgrade Proposal and the receipt for the payment of the VBBL Service to the City of Vancouver when applying for your permit. Contact us when your renovations are complete to book the final site visit, and then present the reports from the final visit 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.

When your home is 5 ACH or higher at the pre-retrofit evaluation, you need to demonstrate at least 2 ACH reduction by:

  1. Performing a post-retrofit evaluation, where we will complete a blower door test again; or
  2. Present documentation indicating a minimum of $800 spent towards draftproofing, including supplies, and labour.

In either case, save all your receipts from your draftproofing purchases. 

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.