Operating Costs

The cost of doing business in British Columbia can be lower than in other top North American locations. Labour, power and facility costs are generally lower, making B.C. an attractive destination for business. British Columbia’s general corporate income tax rate is only 12%. When combined with the federal rate, British Columbia businesses pay a combined general corporate income tax rate of 27% — among the lowest in the G7.

Compared with the West Coast of the United States, many industries can achieve significant total annual operating cost savings.

Industrial Electricity

Nearly 98% of the electricity generated in British Columbia comes from clean or renewable resources. British Columbia’s affordable and reliable electrical power gives businesses a significant opportunity to reduce operating costs. Electricity rates in British Columbia are among the lowest in North America. Ongoing investments in conventional and alternative energy technologies and infrastructure are ensuring that British Columbia has the power it needs to fuel business growth.

  • Reliable, renewable and low-cost hydroelectric power supplies 88% per cent of British Columbia's electricity needs. The rest is mainly power from biomass.
  • A comprehensive transmission and distribution system delivers reliable power to all regions of the province.
  • British Columbia is Canada’s second-largest producer of natural gas.
  • The B.C. government develops and implements policies and regulations to support the Province's energy, economic and greenhouse gas reduction priorities. CleanBC is putting British Columbia on a path to a stronger more sustainable future with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050 compared to 2007 levels.
Industrial Electricity (CDN$)
Average prices on April 1, 2019 (in cents/kWh, excluding taxes)
Medium User* Large User**
Vancouver, BC $9.15 $6.59
Calgary, AB $13.40 $11.94
Toronto, ON $15.00 $11.71
Montreal, QB $8.06 $4.92
Boston - USA $27.52 $23.48
Portland - USA $10.48 $8.08
San Francisco - USA $24.28 $15.56
Seattle - USA $11.35 $10.07
New York - USA $21.24 $13.69
*1000kW demand (56% load factor)   |   **50,000 kW demand (85% load factor)   |   Source: Hydro Quebec 2019

Other Operating Costs  

Prime Office Rental Rates

US$ per square foot
Prime Office Costs in Downtown Core Current - sq. ft./year ($USD)
Canada - Vancouver, BC $52.26
U.S. - Los Angeles, CA $52.16
U.S. - Chicago, IL $60.18
Germany - Frankfurt $61.77
U.S - Houston, TX $64.60
U.S - Seattle, WA $66.47
India - Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex) $90.67
Australia - Sydney $101.40
U.S. - Boston, MA $106.60
Singapore $114.28
China - Shanghai (Pudong) $128.51
U.S. - San Francisco, CA $130.51
India - New Delhi $143.97
Japan - Tokyo $167.82
China - Beijing (Finance Street) $187.77
U.K. - London, West End $222.70
Source: CBRE April 2019 Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs