Find out how the City of Victoria is taking climate action in our community right now.
Climate Emergency High Impact Initiatives
In March 2019, the City of Victoria declared a climate emergency and committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Over 1,400 jurisdictions in 30 countries have declared a climate emergency. The City’s declaration of the climate emergency reemphasized the severity of climate risks and the need for bold and sustained action to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. In response, the City identified six High Impact Initiatives (HIIs) for accelerated action, each of these actions has been initiated:
BC Energy Step Code for New Buildings
We have committed to taking incremental steps to increase energy-efficiency requirements in the Building Code to make new buildings net-zero energy ready. Residential buildings are at Step 3 and commercial buildings are at Step 2 which is well above the Provincial requirements.
For more information, visit the City of Victoria Step Code Requirements web page.
New Construction Rebate Program
Victoria builders, there are rebates to help you reach higher levels of the Step Code than are required in Victoria and to reduce emissions even further by fully electrifying new homes. For more information check out: CleanBC Better Homes New Construction Program - Better Homes BC
Climate Ready Bylaws
We have amended/implemented the following bylaws to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase the resiliency of our community:
- On December 3, 2020, City Council approved amendments to the Streets and Traffic Bylaw (09-079) to set fees for the use of public electric vehicle charging stations, create EV charging parking zones, and establish fines for non-compliance.
- On December 3, 2020 City Council passed a new bylaw titled ‘City Parkades Electric Vehicle Charging Fees Bylaw (20-033)’ which outlines the fees required for charging electric vehicles in City owned parking areas, including parkades. Fees for EV charging will be at a rate of $1 per hour. The fees came into effect on January 1, 2021; however, the City did not enforce EV charging fees until January 4, 2021.
- City Council has amended the Zoning Regulation Bylaw (80-159) and the Zoning Bylaw (18-072) (which is specific to the downtown core area), outlining the requirement for all new residential and commercial buildings to be ‘electric vehicle ready’ for Level 2 charging (240 volts). This means that new buildings do not have to install electric vehicle chargers, but that parking stalls must be energized and ready for the future installation of EV chargers. For more information, please visit our page on Electric Vehicle Readiness in New Construction page.
EV Charging Infrastructure
Since 2013, the City has invested in EV charging infrastructure by installing publicly accessible charging stations. Currently, the City owns and operates 19 Level 2 (240 volt) chargers; the chargers are in groups of two to four in each of the City’s five parkades and six new chargers were installed on Broad Street in the fall of 2020.
The City of Victoria partnered with BC Hydro to install an EV Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) station with two chargers at the south end of Store Street, between Johnson and Pandora, near the Johnson Street Bridge. Construction is complete and the chargers were opened for use on April 30, 2021.
A comprehensive EV Infrastructure Strategy is also in development to guide the City’s investment in public and private EV charging stations.