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The energy used in our buildings accounts for about a third of the region’s community greenhouse gas emissions.

A great way to reduce our emissions is by using renewable energy to heat our homes by installing retrofits like heat pumps or solar panels. We can also improve the energy efficiency of new buildings and retrofit existing buildings to be more climate-friendly.

These steps will reduce the carbon footprint of our homes and workplaces and will also make our buildings more comfortable and lower our energy bills. Adapting our buildings to a changing climate will help us manage the impacts of climate change. Read more >>

Taking action at home to reduce energy and fossil fuel use and prepare for climate-related impacts are important ways that the capital region can be a part of the global climate solution.

The Bring It Home 4 the Climate program was created to engage and support homeowners and organizations in reducing the energy consumption and carbon footprint of their homes, as well as taking steps to motivate others to do the same. Bring It Home helps homeowners take the next step, regardless of where they are in their energy retrofit journey, and aims to reduce barriers to completing a home energy retrofit.

The program offers three main benefits to participants:

  • Free Virtual Home Check-Up – help for translating your personal and household goals into climate-friendly home improvement solutions
  • EnerGuide Home Evaluation Summary – access a discounted EnerGuide Home Evaluation to learn about home upgrade options
  • Free education and special offers – access free learning events and DIY air sealing supplies

This program is being offered for a limited time only. Homeowners can register and find out more at Bring It Home 4 the Climate.

Your home offers many opportunities to upgrade energy efficiency, save on energy bills, and improve your comfort. Find rebates for building a new home or for retrofitting your existing home that will save energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more >>

Borrow a Climate Action To-Go Kit from your local library and discover how you can take climate action in your home. Each kit contains resources and activities for you to:

  • Measure household appliance electricity use with a Kill-A-Watt meter
  • Discover air leaks in walls and around windows using a thermal leak detector
  • Measure your home’s optimal lighting using a digital illuminance light meter

Read more >>

The CRD is taking steps to reduce operational GHG emissions from its facilities. In 2019, GHG emissions from buildings, facilities, and infrastructure have decreased by 21% since 2007, despite adding new buildings and facilities. The CRD continues to look for opportunities to minimize GHG emissions and energy use, such as upgrading to high-efficiency natural gas boilers, and investigating the waste heat recovery projects at Panorama Recreation and SEAPARC. To learn more, see our Climate Action Strategy and annual reports.

Energy Step Code

ghgbuildings-166x268The BC Energy Step Code is an optional compliance path in the BC Building Code that establishes progressive performance steps in energy efficiency for new buildings from the current BC Building Code level to net zero energy ready buildings by 2030. Each “step” of the code representing increasing levels of energy-efficiency performance and applies to new construction only.

Several municipalities in the CRD have adopted higher steps of the Step Code. More information on municipal adoption of the Step Code is available here: Implementation updates | Energy Step Code.

What are the Provincial Timelines for BC Energy Step Code adoption?

The CleanBC Plan and subsequent Roadmap to 2030 set the provincial adoption schedule for the Step Code, with a proposed implementation timeline as follows:

  • 2022 BC Building Code Update – Step 3 (part 9) and Step 2 (part 3 residential)
  • 2027 BC Building Code Update – Step 4 (part 9) and Step 3 (part 3 residential)
  • 2030 BC Building Code Update – Step 5 (part 9) and Step 4 (Part 3 residential)

In municipalities where the Step Code has not yet been adopted, that the Step Code is anticipated to come into effect in the next BC Building Code Update, expected December 2022.

How does this relate to Low Carbon Energy Systems?

The Step Code focuses on energy efficiency without directly addressing the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Provincial CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030 notes that efficiency requirements alone are not enough to meet our climate targets and so we must also focus on Low Carbon Energy Systems.

The Province has indicated that they are adding a new performance-based, carbon pollution standard to the BC Building Code to achieve Low Carbon Energy Systems, likely via the setting of GHG emissions intensity (GHGi) targets for new buildings as of December 2024.

Benefits of Step Code

Building more efficient buildings has many benefits for building owners and tenants, industry, and our environment.

  • Reduced energy use, resulting in decreased utility bills
  • Improved temperature control, comfort, air quality and health
  • Improved soundproofing
  • Positioning BC as leader in green building design and construction, creating jobs and local economic development opportunities 

Helpful Links & Resources

For questions about the Energy Step Code or to contact the Energy Step Code Council, please email the Province’s Building and Safety Standards Branch. For questions about the Energy Step Code in the capital region please contact us