Step Code Incentive Program

What is the BC Energy Step Code

We are pleased to announce, that we are adopting the BC Energy Step Code in an effort to support our climate action goals. Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from residential buildings contribute 7.5% to community-wide emissions, and 14% of non-industrial community emeissions. Early participation in the Step Code program is expected to have a positive effect on the energy efficiency of North Cowichan’s building stock by encouraging a higher energy efficiency standard in advance of mandatory requirements. This will help reduce our overall carbon footprint.

The Step Code is a provincial initiative that, when implemented, requires new homes to meet higher energy efficiency standards than are currently required in the BC Building Code. The Step Code does not specify how to construct an energy-efficient building; instead, it identifies an energy-efficiency target that must be met and lets the designer/builder decide how to meet it. 

The Step Code provides a series of incremental targets for energy-efficiency standards that, according to the CleanBC Plan, will culminate in all buildings being built to a net zero standard (80% more efficient than today) by 2032.

North Cowichan's Phased Incentive Program

We are launching a phased Step Code Incentice Program to encourage local builders to voluntarily meet the BC Energy Step Code (BCSC). Our Step Code Incentive Program is the result of an extensive review of existing successful programs offered by other Local Governments, and feedback and guidance from the Province of BC and key industry stakeholders. Our Step Code implementation plan was approved by Mayor and Council on May 20, 2020 and includes a voluntary period of compliance, coupled with incentives.

The first phase of our incentive program will launch in October 2020, and offers incentives to commercial builders and homeowners who choose to comply with, at minimum, Step 2 of the BCSC. Council has amended the Building Bylaw to require all new builds in North Cowichan to meet Step 2 of the BCSC as of May 1, 20021. At this time, new builds can then only apply for a rebate of they voluntarily meet step 3 or higher.

In introducing this voluntary, incentive-based approach to the BCSC our goals are two-fold: to introduce builders to this program before it is mandatory; and to increase efficiency of new builds. Builders who register for our program can receive a rebate of up to $1,250 by ensuring new builds voluntarily comply with the BC Energy Step Code. New builds could be eligible for the following rebates: 

Step 1 $.00 – no increased efficiency 
Step 2 $500 – 10% increase in efficiency (will be made mandatory by Province in 2021)
Step 3 $750 – 20% increase in efficiency (will be made mandatory by Province in 2022) 
Step 4 $1,000 – 40% increase in efficiency 
Step 5 $1,250 – 80% increase in efficiency 

Engagement

We are hosting an interactive online session to provide more detail about the Step Code, our Incentive Program, and answer your questions. 

  • Join us on October 29, 2020, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm!

The format of this session will include a staff presentation, along with a panel of industry professionals, and a Q&A.

To attend the remote session please email building@northcowichan.ca and let us know the email address you will be using to join the meeting and your contact information*. Once you receive confirmation, we will send the WebEx session link to join one hour prior to the meeting.  

To watch the recorded session from August 20, 200, see below! 

For more information on the BC Energy Step Code, visit: https://energystepcode.ca/

Questions?

Check out our FAQ document [PDF - 412 KB]

Contact: 

building@northcowichan.ca
250.746.3102