Energy Step Code Costing Study

Preliminary findings from a costing assessment of the BC Energy Step Code will be made available in a lunch hour webinar on July 11th. BC Housing commissioned the study to show how the various steps may impact construction costs in varying building types, and in different climate zones across the province.

The provincial government enacted the regulation for the BC Energy Step Code in April of this year. The standard aims to create healthier, more efficient, and more comfortable new buildings by establishing measurable energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. It aims to help to ensure that new buildings will be designed and built, from the ground up, to be as energy-efficient as possible.

British Columbia local governments can use the BC Energy Step Code to incentivize or require better-than-code performance in new construction in their communities. The City of North Vancouver, the City of Richmond, and the City of Kimberley are some of the local governments considering this approach.

Since 2010, the Local Government Act has required that all new and updated Regional Growth Strategies and Official Community Plans include targets, policies, and actions to address climate change. Further, most local governments in BC have signed on to the Province’s 2011 BC Climate Action Charter, which commits signatory local governments to a range of actions, including developing strategies and taking action to achieve “complete, compact, more energy-efficient rural and urban communities.”

While many communities are keen to use policy tools to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, they are also sensitive to any regulations that could impact builder costs in addition to those already incurred through fees such as development cost charges, and that potentially increase barriers to development.

The costing initiative is anticipated to be complete in late summer 2017.

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