Stretch Code a Step in the Right Direction

The BC government’s proposed Stretch (or Step) Code will give local governments and builders more tools and opportunities to accelerate energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions in the built environment.

With ministerial approval expected later this year, there will be a single step code for all of BC, flexible to the needs of communities and industry. Current energy efficiency programs have varying and inconsistent rules.

The new regulation will be available on an opt-in basis leading toward the end of local building requirements, which will no longer be in effect by December 2017.

Delegates in a Thursday clinic heard from Zachary May, Senior Codes Administrator for the Ministry of Natural Gas Development, who said the Province has been consulting broadly with stakeholders, including UBCM. The Ministry intends to ready tools that will more efficiently help to achieve objectives under the Climate Action Charter and the Climate Leadership Plan, including the latter’s commitment to Net Zero Ready by 2032.

Sparwood Councillor and former mayor Lois Halko described the ways her east Kootenay coal-mining community is working to meet their commitments under the Charter, including the creation of a carbon neutral reserve fund. Working with energy advisers, the District provides a subsidy for energy assessments repaid from building fees.

Energy advisor Einar Halbig profiled communities leading the way to high performance housing, such as Nanaimo, Kent, City of North Vancouver and, of course, Vancouver with its prescriptive Renewable City strategy.

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