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Provincial Energy Step Code

August 1, 2017

It is anticipated that a best practices guide for local governments; a notice form for municipalities to notify the Province that they intend to adopt the ESC; and a costing study will be released before the end of summer.

The costing study has already led to one change. For Part 3 wood-frame buildings, the lower steps now includes Step 3 as opposed to just Step 2. This means local governments will be able to require this step across their jurisdictions with little or no incentives. The reason for the change is the consultant found that Step 2 for this housing form has the same or a lower energy efficiency standard than the current B.C. Building Code (BCBC) requirements. In addition, the incremental construction cost increase between Step 2 and 3 is as low as 0.1% in the Lower Mainland.

We don’t anticipate further significant changes to the ESC steps before December 15th when it is implemented. However, there will be discussions in 2018 that may lead to changes in the metrics for the steps or further changes regarding what is considered a lower step. UDI is planning a couple of Breakfast Seminars in the early fall on the ESC, which will include information on the costing study and the testing regime that builders will have to follow.

More information on the Province of BC website

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