Victoria and Saanich Introduce Incentives and Supports for Rental Building Electrification

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The City of Victoria and the District of Saanich recently launched tax exemption programs that support electrification retrofits in rental buildings, the first initiative of its kind in British Columbia. 

In tandem, the municipalities have partnered with Landlord BC and BC Hydro to expand the Rental Apartment Retrofit Accelerator (RARA) Program, initiated in Vancouver in 2023. Under the program, LandlordBC supports rental building owners in exploring electrification upgrades and putting together a business case. Participants are then supported through the retrofit process, including accessing the tax exemptions from Victoria and Saanich, which can cover up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.

“Shifting rental buildings away from fossil fuels will reduce our community’s emissions,” said Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto. “This pilot program shows promise in overcoming the challenge of implementing energy upgrades in the City’s rental stock and will ultimately benefit renters by sustaining these buildings.”

“This is an investment in meaningful climate action and in improving housing for renters,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock. “Upgrading our rental stock through low-carbon retrofits helps extend the life of these buildings for the people who live there, and in many cases, will benefit renters by providing access to summer cooling.”

The RARA Program, launched in July 2023 in Vancouver with funding from CleanBC and BC Hydro, supports the resilience of existing rental buildings to climate change impacts while enhancing energy efficiency with minimal disruption to tenants. The first phase of the Vancouver program is already fully subscribed. “We’ve been really pleased with the level of interest in Vancouver and are excited to expand this important program within Saanich and Victoria,” explained David Hutniak, Chief Executive Officer of LandlordBC. “This program is helping us develop effective ways to retrofit apartments that will reduce carbon emissions and provide more efficient and comfortable homes for residents.”

Both Victoria and Saanich have committed to achieving 100 per cent renewable energy usage in all buildings before 2050. Retrofits of existing buildings are crucial to meeting this target.

To learn more and apply for the programs, please visit:
Victoria’s Rental Apartment Retrofit Accelerator Pilot Program
Saanich’s Climate Action Tax Exemption Program

Media Contacts: 
Colleen Mycroft 
Manager, Intergovernmental and Media Relations 
250.896.5325 | 

Tracy Grimsrud
Senior Communications Advisor
250.589.5100 |