Photo: City of Vernon

City of Castlegar to help builders transition to new step code

Workshops and demonstrations will be held over the next year

The City of Castlegar will be offering workshops and demonstrations for people in the building industry to help them make the transition to the new BC Energy Step Code.

The city received $46,000 from FortisBC’s BuiltBetter Communities Program to help implement the program.

The BC Energy Step Code is a voluntary performance-based standard introduced by the Province of B.C. which will change the way we build and support more energy-efficient construction, saving home and business owners money and reducing energy consumption.

The City of Castlegar committed to adopting Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code by December 2020. That will require modeling of energy performance and air tightness to ensure that buildings will meet or exceed the minimum energy-efficiency requirements in the base B.C. Building Code.

It is anticipated that the Building Code will require new construction to be net-zero ready by 2032.

RELATED: First certified net zero home in the Kootenays built in Shoreacres

The FortisBC funding will be used to educate and train local builders, contractors, architects, realtors and others involved in the construction industry.

“The marketplace recognizes the affordable and reliable energy services delivered by FortisBC and the preference for using natural gas in buildings,” says Bea Bains, Manager Energy Products & Services at FortisBC.

“As such, the company is uniquely positioned to help our customers reduce their energy use in buildings by partnering with communities such as the City of Castlegar in a cost-effective and market-driven manner.”

“The City of Castlegar is currently developing a 100 per cent Renewable Energy by 2050 Plan and this funding helps ensure our development community is ready for more energy-efficient construction before it is mandated by the province,” says Meeri Durand, Manager of Planning, Development and Sustainability.

“This work supports the city’s Official Community Plan and commitment to innovation in energy efficiency.”

The city will collaborate with regional partners to provide builder breakfasts, workshops and on-site demonstrations over the next year. All events will be held virtually or in a manner that supports COVID-19 public health requirements.

The first event will be an in-person builders breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The event will be co-hosted with the Community Energy Association. Pre-registration is required at to meet public health requirements.

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