Grants

Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant

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Grants to assist with improving energy efficiency

The Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant is designed to encourage and enable deep energy retrofits and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions while respecting the heritage fabric and character-defining elements of participating homes in Vancouver. Retrofits can improve the comfort of your older home, reduce your energy bills and reduce impact on the environment.

A maximum of $10,000 is available per home towards qualifying retrofits or a maximum of $14,000 per home if fuel switching from gas or oil to an electric air source heat pump is included with other retrofits. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions while respecting the heritage fabric and character-defining elements of participating homes in Vancouver. Retrofits can improve the comfort of your older home, reduce your energy bills and reduce impact on the environment.

The Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program is currently at capacity, new applications will be assessed for eligibility and then placed on a waitlist until funding is available. 


The Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program offers homeowners incentives to increase energy efficiencies within a home that complement other community rebate programs including through Better Homes BC Home Renovation Rebate Program, BC Hydro and FortisBC. It takes a holistic approach to GHG reduction by financially rewarding the overall reduction of GHG in a single dwelling after the completion of recommended energy retrofits. The program subsidizes mandatory pre-retrofit and post-retrofit home energy evaluations and a Vancouver GHG Reduction Opportunities Report.

To be eligible, a house must be in Vancouver and either built before 1940 or on the Vancouver Heritage Register. Only houses with oil or gas heating are eligible as these offer the highest GHG reduction opportunities. Please note the grant is for new retrofits only and we are not able to provide funds retroactively for already completed projects.

The grant amount provided by the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program is variable and is calculated at the end based on the participant’s GHG emissions reductions achieved in the program.

Eligibility and Incentives

Step 1

Homeowners of houses constructed before 1940 or that are listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register are eligible to apply by completing the online application form.

Step 2

If accepted into the program, VHF will coordinate an EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) Home Evaluation of your home with a certified energy advisor from our partner organization City Green Solutions. The incentive amount will cover a portion of the evaluation cost and the applicant can apply to provincial rebate programs to have the other portion reimbursed.

The energy advisor will provide the homeowner with two reports:

  • EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) Home Energy Evaluation Report
  • Vancouver GHG Reduction Opportunities Report.

These reports and supplementary materials provided will help the homeowner select the best upgrades for their older home through an educated process.

Step 3

The homeowner will select which energy upgrades to undertake during an 18-month period that will be most beneficial for the overall energy efficiency of the building as well as the retention of the original fabric of the house with an emphasis on its character-defining elements.

Step 4

Homeowners complete selected energy upgrades from the energy advisor’s recommendations. If the owner chooses to complete window restoration, the installation of storm windows or high-efficiency toilets they will apply directly to VHF for the direct incentive.

Step 5

The homeowner will be responsible to apply to provincial rebate programs including those offered by Fortis BC and BC Hydro. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure they meet the requirements for specific rebates.

Step 6

VHF will coordinate a post-retrofit EnerGuide Rating System home energy evaluation for the house. Based on the reduction in GHG established through the energy evaluations, City Green Solutions will calculate the eligible provincial rebates available to the homeowner, and the grant amount outside of VHF’s direct incentives that the homeowner will receive.

Step 7

VHF will provide the final calculated grant amount to the homeowner.

  1. Located in Vancouver.
  2. Rental homes require the owner of the home to apply.
  3. Constructed prior to 1940 or be listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register (VHR).
  4. The primary heat type is natural gas or oil.
  5. Eligible house types are (see guidelines for full details):
    • single family dwellings
    • duplexes
    • row homes or townhomes.
  6. Submission of 24 months of energy consumption data, 12 months before retrofits and 12 months after retrofits are completed.
  1. Eligible retrofits must be completed after an initial pre-retrofit EnerGuide Rating System home evaluation
  2. Completed in an 18-month period from the time of the pre-retrofit evaluation
  3. Projects do not remove original materials without written consent from VHF
  4. Projects respect the heritage or character-defining elements of the home.
  5.  Homes that are undertaking significant reconfiguration of existing accommodation and/or changing the number of dwelling units may not be eligible.
  6. To qualify for a window incentive, a minimum of one additional qualifying retrofit is  undertaken

Participants in the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program may access a grant of up to $10,000 to contribute to the costs of recommended retrofits, including a portion of the cost for the two required pre and post ERS Home Evaluations and the Vancouver GHG Reduction Opportunities Report.

Heritage Energy Retrofit Grants for retrofits (except storm windows and toilets) are variable and based on a program calculation of $150 per tonne of GHG reduction per year for the estimated lifetime of the retrofit.

This program is designed to complement the incentive programs available through Better Homes BC Home Renovation Rebate Program, BCHydro, FortisBC and other municipal or provincial programs available to the homeowner. All other rebates will be used to calculate the amount of grant funds awarded after all retrofits are completed. In combination with other incentive programs the total grant funds and rebates cannot exceed 100% of the total cost of eligible retrofits.

VHF offers direct incentives as well for some retrofits and these are outlined in the chart below. For more detailed information on each incentive refer to the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant Guidelines, Terms and Conditions document below.

Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant Grant For Grant Funding (up to) $
Pre-Retrofit Evaluation & Reports $345*
GHG Reduction Retrofits $10,000** (includes: storm window grant, pre-retrofit and post-retrofit evaluations and reports)
Storm windows/ Window Restoration
(with a minimum of one other retrofit)
$3,000
Post-Retrofit Evaluation $410
Air-source heat pump incentive when switching fuel sources $4,000 (in addition to GHG Reduction Retrofits)
Up to 2 high-efficiency toilets of 4.8 liters per flush or less $200 (in addition to GHG Reduction Retrofits)
Energy Consumption data sharing $250 bonus gift card
Other Available Rebates For current incentives from other sources please refer to betterhomesbc.ca

*Homeowner is responsible for the cost and applicable taxes for the $300 portion of the pre-retrofit evaluation  not paid for by the grant program. Homes over 3,000 sq. ft. or with separate rental suites may be subject to additional testing fees that must be paid for by the homeowner. Taxes on the portion of the evaluations and reports paid for by the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant will be paid by the program.

**All of the qualifying direct incentives and evaluation and report costs, unless otherwise stated, will be subtracted from the maximum $10,000 along with all other available rebates for specific retrofits outside of the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program when calculating the total grant award for GHG emissions reductions.

For a complete up-to-date list of municipal, provincial and utilities rebates available for energy improvements, visit: betterhomesbc.ca or contact an energy coach by calling: 1  844  881  9790

Up to $3,000 ($600 per window) is available for the installation of qualifying storm windows or for window restoration

Construction requirements for wood storm windows are based on the Province of British Columbia guidelines for traditional wood storm windows, and are eligible where the original window is retained. Non-wood interior storm units can be supported by this grant if they meet specific criteria. If your home has different original windows such as 1930’s metal casement windows or if you need more information on qualifying interior storm windows, please contact VHF to discuss heritage appropriate storm window alternatives. View full requirements for wood storm windows here.

The replacement of non-original windows, or windows deemed beyond repair with traditional wood-built windows may also qualify for this incentive where the performance of the window is improved and the new windows meet heritage requirements specified by VHF. Repairs to original windows may also be eligible for this direct grant. View full requirements for wood windows here

Important Considerations

The objective of this program is to encourage and enable deep energy retrofits and maximize GHG emissions reductions while respecting the heritage or character-defining elements of participating homes.

    • The removal of original building fabric, for example wood windows is prohibited unless deemed ‘beyond repair’ by a heritage professional and approved by VHF in writing.
    • The removal, replacement or alteration of original exterior or interior heritage fabric can result in disqualification from the program. Such plans should be discussed with VHF prior to proceeding.
    • Understanding the original construction of your home is important. Undertaking specific retrofits that would work well in a new build can cause serious problems in older homes, for example adding insulation into the walls could increase moisture and cause mold to build up if done incorrectly. Working with a contractor who understands older construction design is important. A list of building professionals can be requested from VHF staff by contacting meghan@vancouverheritagefoundation.org or calling  604  264  9642.

Any retrofit completed before the initial home evaluation or after the final evaluation will not be eligible for inclusion in the grant calculations.

The Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant program is currently at capacity, new applications will be assessed for eligibility and then placed on a waitlist until funding is available. 

Application: Online Form

Program Documents:

For Approved Participating Applicants: