What is the Energy Step Code? The Step Code is a compliance path in the BC Building Code that local governments may use to require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.
Why is this important? To meet the targets set in the Climate Leadership Plan, the District is implementing the Step Code for new construction with Step 1 in 2020, and for 2021, either Step 2 or 3, depending on building type.
What does this mean? Step 1 is essentially construction to the BC Building Code. The only additional requirement is to consult with a certified Energy Advisor to model and test your new build. While there are no specific energy efficient targets to meet, it does allow you an opportunity to become familiar with the principles of energy efficient construction: airtightness; building envelope; and, heating, venting and cooling equipment. This transition year will give the builders opportunities to improve construction techniques and create more airtight building assemblies.
Financial incentives for new and existing buildings
- Mid-Construction Blower Door Test rebates for new builds
- Build Better than required to reduce your building permit fees for new builds
- BetterHomesBC.ca for new and existing houses
- BetterBuildingsBC.ca for commercial projects
Where can I find more info? Contact staff at the Building Department at 250-544-4217 or see the following links.
- BC Energy Step Code
- Built Green
- National Resources Canada - Energy Efficiency
- BC Hydro
- Fortis BC
- BC Housing Construction Guides
The BC Energy Step Code consists of a series of steps, representing increasing levels of energy-efficiency performance. For residential construction, the steps are summarized as:
Step 1 - Base Building Code
Step 2 - 10% Better than Building Code
Step 3 - 20% Better than Building Code
Step 4 - 40% Better than Building Code
Step 5 - 80% Better than Building Code (or Net-Zero Energy Ready)
The key performance metrics of the Step Code may be separated into three categories:
- equipment and systems; and,
- building enclosure.
Based on our location, in Zone 4, the BC Energy Step Code provides the minimum/maximum permitted threshold for the following:
- air changes per hour (based on the testing of air leakage);
- energy consumption (HVAC, hot water, fans, etc); and,
- energy demand (considers energy gain/losses through building enclosure).
Specific metrics are available from the Step Code, the Building Department or your Energy Advisor.