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The Small Commercial New Construction Program was created for the design and construction of new high-performance buildings (up to 50,000 square feet), to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Available Incentives

BC Energy Step Code performance target Rebate per sq. ft. of indoor floor area Maximum rebate
Step 2 $1.50/sq. ft. $75,000
Step 3 $2.40/sq. ft. $120,000
Step 4 and higher $3.30/sq. ft. $165,000

Eligibility Requirements

  • The project must be located in a FortisBC natural gas and/or electricity service area, including the municipal utilities of Grand Forks, Penticton, Summerland and Nelson Hydro.
  • The building permit must be issued on, or after, January 1, 2022.
  • You must be a builder/developer or owner of one of the following:
    • a charity registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada) that provides assistance to low-income persons, or
    • a housing provider that meets one of the following criteria
      • a local government
      • housing society registered under the Societies Act
      • a housing co-op registered under the Cooperative Association Act
      • a governing body of an Indigenous band, provided the housing is primarily for low-income households
    • but does not include:
      • a school board or educational institution (public and private schools, colleges and universities)
      • a health authority or hospital
      • a public library
  • The program is for the construction of the following:
    • Part 3 commercial buildings up to 50,000 square feet (sq.ft.)
    • Part 9 low-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) of three storeys or less with a building area of no more than 6,458 sq. ft.*
  • At least two of the following end uses must use energy supplied by FortisBC:
    • space heating
    • ventilation
    • domestic hot water heating (DHW)
  • For MURBs and mixed-use MURBs located outside FortisBC’s electricity service area using natural gas to service common areas,** the following conditions must be met for ventilation and DHW, with the intent being to use natural gas as efficiently as possible:
    • Ventilation: the professional engineer of record must provide a description of the ventilation design in natural gas-served areas including strategies to limit heating energy on Appendix A of the application form. This should include:
      • rationale for cubic feet per minute (CFM)/door for corridor ventilation. Corridor adjustment factor must be <10 kWh/m2; if greater, then CFM/door should be reduced; this threshold is based on the formulae per Section 2.5.2 of the City of Vancouver Modelling Guidelines v2.0
      • an explanation of lower temperature set points and other control strategies used where possible to reduce heating load
      • gas-fired units must use condensing technology
    • DHW: the professional engineer of record must provide a description of the DHW design in natural gas-served areas to limit hot water use on appendix A of the application form. This should include:
      • water-efficient showerheads, faucets and other DHW flow rates must be incorporated to reduce hot water use to flow rates lower than BCBC maximums
      • gas-fired boilers must use condensing technology
  • Review all terms & conditions found on the Small Commercial New Construction program page.

Upgrade Requirements

The program offers capital incentives based on the performance levels of the BC Energy Step Code, allowing for innovative solutions to help you achieve whole-building energy performance. If your project is located in an area that hasn’t yet adopted step code requirements, please contact us to discuss. Check online to see if your municipality has implemented the BC Energy Step Code.

If your project is not built to Step Code 2+, you may want to consider individual high efficiency product rebates instead.

How to Apply

  1. Review the Small Commercial New Construction Program participant guide and terms and conditions.
  2. Work with an energy advisor or energy modeller to develop a model and assist with airtightness testing.
  3. Once construction has been completed and within six months of building occupancy, email your completed and signed application to commercialrebates@fortisbc.com, along with the following supporting documents:
    • a copy of the BC Energy Step Code Part 3 Energy Design Report or Part 9 Energy Compliance Report and EnerGuide® N Report and Label for service organization energy advisors or Energy Model Report
    • as-built drawings of the building
    • energy model invoice or progress draw (optional)
    • air tightness testing results and invoice or progress draw (optional)
    • completed professional engineer of record declaration for MURBs (Appendix A on application form)


  • Energy model rebate
    • The energy model rebate can help you with the cost of a detailed engineering analysis of your facility. The rebate is 50 per cent of the cost of the energy model, to a maximum of $5,000. Please visit the Small Commercial New Construction Program website for more details.
  • Airtightness rebate
    • The airtightness rebate encourages you to include airtightness testing during and after construction and feed the results back into the energy model. For each stage (mid-construction and post-construction test) you may be eligible for a rebate equal to 75 per cent of the cost of the airtightness test, to a maximum of $2,500 per test (maximum of two tests). Please visit the Small Commercial New Construction Program website for more details.
  • Check out our incentive search tool for other energy efficiency upgrades incentives.
  • Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.
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Program Contact Information

If you have questions, contact your key account manager, energy solutions manager or technical advisor, call 1-866-884-8833 or email commercialrebates@fortisbc.com.