A new wave of innovative, comfortable, and high performing buildings and developments is sweeping across British Columbia. The provincial government has set a long term goal to significantly increase the energy efficiency performance of all new buildings - and industry members from White Rock to Fort St. John are rolling up their sleeves, upgrading their skills, and sharpening their pencils.
Net zero energy ready homes is what’s next on the local, provincial and national policy agenda, and consumers increasingly ask for quieter, more affordable and durable homes. Industry is stepping up to the challenge; it’s a great time to get out front and join the shift. Will you step up?
Stepping up to a net zero energy ready future
The BC Energy Step Code is a new provincial standard that local governments may use, if they wish, to incentivize or mandate builders to deliver a level of energy efficiency performance that exceeds the requirements of the BC Building Code. It offers industry a consistent, incremental approach to achieve energy efficiency.
Since December 15, 2017, more than 30 local governments around British Columbia have either been thinking of putting the BC Energy Step Code to work, or have already done so. This is a step towards 2032, the year that all new buildings in the province – homes, stores, offices – will be required to perform at a net zero energy ready level.
Studies show that the incremental, additional costs needed to build homes to the lower steps of the BC Energy Step Code today are modest. BC Hydro recommends builders/industry members get up to speed on Energy Step Code information, strategies, practices, and approaches. They’ve got information and resources to help you move up the learning curve.
Benefits for builders
The BC Energy Step Code gives the building industry a clear sense of where the province is heading on energy efficiency. It lays out a path for future updates to the BC Building Code so that communities can meet their climate and energy objectives, and builders can follow consistent metrics and requirements that are now standardized across the province.
Benefits for your customers
Not only do high performance homes use a fraction of the energy of a traditional home to stay comfortable, they are healthier, more durable and quieter. In addition, they allow your customers to see savings on their energy bills year after year.
Your customers will see and feel benefits such as:
- Efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home.
- Improved indoor air quality, with less dust, pollen, soot/smoke particles, and other allergens.
- Higher levels of insulation to keep out exterior noise, making for peaceful, draft-free, homes.
- The feeling that they are living very comfortably while significantly shrinking their contribution to climate change.
- High-performance ENERGY STAR® windows, patio doors, and skylights that keep the home more comfortable all year round by keeping the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
- Increased comfort through heat recovery ventilators that provide more consistent temperatures and ventilation.
- Increased durability from better building practices means reduced maintenance costs and longevity; homes can still perform well after 50 years.
- A variety of ENERGY STAR appliances that will reduce electricity use and help save on utility bills.
Get your business ahead of the curve now. Various associations and training institutions are offering workshops and learning forums, and this year alone, hundreds have taken advantage of them. BC Hydro provides information on existing energy efficiency programs, and is a useful hub for resources to help your business get ahead.
Step up now.