Implementation of BC’s Energy Step Code
Ecolighten is proud to promote and support the adoption of British Columbia’s new Energy Step Code. In short, the BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that communities can use to incentivize or require better-than-code energy efficiency in new buildings.
The BC Energy Step Code gives the building industry a clear sense of where the province is heading on energy efficiency over the next decade. It also establishes consistent standards that builders can design and build to across all local governments in the province. Moreover, the BC Energy Step Code is a powerful and flexible tool to reduce emissions, improve energy performance and bring a range of other co-benefits.
For municipalities, by enacting policies that reference a given step or steps, elected officials can determine the level of performance requirements that work for their community and local industry capacity.
To support municipalities with adoption, a “Best Practices Guide for Local Government” has been published as a resource to help guide the development of strategies including potential policy/by-law tools and examples of approaches for implementation.
For builders, the BC Energy Step Code provides consistency in the energy efficiency requirements between local governments. Additionally, it provides the building industry flexibility to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions that meet the needs of their individual project.
To help with understanding cost implications, a comprehensive study called the “2017 Metrics Study” was commissioned to evaluate the costs of the BC Energy Step Code and demonstrate that most lower steps can be achieved for only marginal higher build costs when compared to conventional construction.
Ecolighten looks forward to following developments with BC’s Energy Step Code as the standard sets out a clear path for future updates to the BC Building Code and provides clear energy-efficiency and business benefits that can be realized by communities and the building industry.