Check out how the City is addressing the climate crisis with programs, policies and projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making the transition to renewable energy.
Climate Emergency High Impact Initiatives
In March 2019, the City of Victoria declared a climate emergency and identified six High Impact Initiatives for accelerated action. These climate mitigation actions focus City efforts on the highest-impact program areas that will demonstrate the largest GHG reductions:
- accelerated oil to heat pump incentives
- increased active transportation infrastructure network
- development of regional home energy and efficiency retrofit program
- zero emissions mobility incentives
- acceleration of low carbon step code requirements for commercial and residential buildings
- development of a bus rapid transit system
All of the High Impact Initiatives have been initiated with many that are currently available for the community to access:
- the City provided more than $450,000 in rebates for Victoria residents to make the switch to a heat pump from any fossil fuel system – *this program is currently full*.
- the City continues to build out our active transportation network with the expansion of the AAA bike network, crosswalks and sidewalks.
- the Home Energy Navigator provides support for homeowners throughout the region who are interested in reducing the emissions and improving the energy efficiency of their homes.
- the City is increasing its EV charging network and working with regional partners to enhance access to EV charging.
- the City has accelerated the BC Energy Step Code and adopted the highest steps of the Zero Carbon Step Code for new building construction.
- the City continues to work with regional partners and the Province on the expansion of the bus rapid transit system and the central business district of the region.
BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code for New Building Construction
The energy we use to heat, power and cool our homes and other buildings makes up over half of Victoria’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from the use of fossil fuel natural gas which is 17 times more polluting than electricity. The City is accelerating efforts to increase energy efficiency and low-carbon requirements for newly constructed buildings by advancing to the top steps of the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code.
Climate Ready Bylaws
The City amended and implemented the following bylaws to support climate action in the community:
- Streets and Traffic Bylaw (09-079)
- amended to set fees for the use of public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, create EV charging parking zones and establish fines for non-compliance
- City Parkades Electric Vehicle Charging Fees Bylaw (20-033)
- outlines the fees requires for charging EVs in City-owned parking areas
- fees for EV charging are at a rate of $1 per hour for Level 2 chargers
- Zoning Regulation Bylaw (80-159) and Zoning Bylaw (18-072)
- amended to outline requirements for all new residential and commercial building to be EV ready for Level 2 charging (240 volts)
- new buildings do not have to install EV chargers, but parking stalls must be energized and ready for future EV charger installation
EV Charging Infrastructure
Since 2013, the City has invested in EV charging infrastructure. Currently, the City operates Level 2 EV chargers in each of the City’s five parkades and along Broad Street, and has fast-charging stations on Store Street, at Vic West Park and at Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre.
The City recently opened close to 50 power-sharing, Level 2 EV chargers on the upper floors of four City-owned parkades. They can accommodate long term charging and parking for those that commute into town for work or live nearby.
In March 2022, the City released the new Electric Vehicle and Electric Mobility Strategy. This guides the expansion of the City’s EV charging network and accelerates the adoption of EVs. The strategy includes plans to install over 650 EV charging stations over the next six years.