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Energy Step Code
 
The Climate Leadership Plan released in August 2016 states that the Province is implementing a number of policies to encourage the development of net-zero buildings. One of those policies is to develop energy efficiency requirements for new buildings that go beyond those in the BC Building Code.
 
The Building and Safety Standards Branch convened a Working Group to examine how such a ‘Step Code’ could be implemented. The proposed Step Code supports the Building Act, by providing a consistent provincial standard for energy efficiency to replace the wide range of existing policies and programs developed by local governments.
 
The proposed Step Code also supports consumer choice, by allowing designers and builders to use natural gas, electricity, or other energy sources for their project without imposing a penalty on this decision. This ‘fuel neutral’ approach provides builders with the flexibility to make energy efficient buildings using all available technologies.
 
The Building and Safety Standards Branch is pleased to share the results of this policy work.
 
The full report can be found on our website (http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/building-codes-standards/energy-efficiency/energy-step-code)  or by following this link.
 
While the Building and Safety Standards Branch is directly involved, the report also recommends actions by other parties with a stake in this policy.  This highlights the need for collaboration and the report can form the basis for ongoing consultation with those stakeholders. In the meantime, the Branch is evaluating next steps by reviewing the multi-stakeholder consensus recommendations found in the report.
 
Intended next steps include the development of Energy Step Code technical requirements that will be enacted by Regulation in the coming months, but followed only as a voluntary measure to allow stakeholders to gain familiarity with the content. The Branch is also supporting the reconstitution of the Energy Efficiency Working Group as an Advisory Committee. The balanced interests represented on this Advisory Committee will provide advice to the Branch as the Province works towards the goals of the Climate Leadership Plan and the ongoing implementation of BC’s new Building Act.
 
If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Zachary May (zachary.may@gov.bc.ca).
 
Respectfully
 
Jarrett Hutchinson | Executive Director (acting)
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Building and Safety Standards Branch | Office of Housing and Construction Standards
Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing
Phone: 250-208-7277
Email: jarrett.hutchinson@gov.bc.ca
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