What is the BC Energy Step Code?
The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial regulation that local governments can voluntarily adopt to require higher levels of energy efficiency in new home construction beyond that required by the BC Building Code. The BC Energy Step Code was introduced as a step-by-step building efficiency strategy that will help meet the Provincial Government’s target of all new homes being net-zero energy ready by 2032.
For Part 9 homes and buildings, the BC Energy Step code sets five performance levels or “steps” with the higher steps being more energy efficient, step five being that the home is net-zero energy ready, meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes. Local governments can choose to require or incentivize a given step for new home construction in their community. Builders and developers have an opportunity to set themselves apart by building to higher steps than required.
While the BC Energy Step Code is currently adopted by municipalities on a voluntary basis, In future years the Province of BC may require that certain steps must be met in order to meet Provincial targets.
By adopting the BC Energy Step code, local governments and their communities will be able to take advantage of the multiple benefits associated with more energy efficient new homes, including:
- Greenhouse Gas Reductions – High-efficiency homes, require less energy to heat, resulting in reduced carbon emissions, even if homes heat with fossil fuels. Homes heated with a heat pump will have the lowest carbon emissions.
- Better Affordability – Reduced energy consumption results in lower energy costs.
- Increased Comfort – The increased insulation and airtightness mean that better equipped to maintain more even temperatures throughout the home.
- Better Health – Energy efficient homes do a better job of filtering and refreshing the indoor air, infiltration of unwanted mould and moisture.
- Improved Durability – Your home is less likely to have moisture and condensation issues that can lead to the deterioration of you building envelope.
For more information on the BC Energy Step Code, visit energystepcode.ca