News Flash

City News

Posted on: May 19, 2021

New Energy Step Code Requirements for Developments in Coquitlam

Detecting heat loss from a home with a thermal image camera

COQUITLAM, B.C., May 18, 2021 – Coquitlam Council has approved a new policy that will require Energy Step Code compliance for new building permit applications.

In an effort to encourage the construction of more energy-efficient buildings in the community, the City of Coquitlam will begin requiring Energy Step Code compliance for most building permit applications starting in the second half of 2021. The first stage for Coquitlam’s new policy means new buildings being constructed in Coquitlam will have to conform with Step 2 of the Energy Step Code by Sept. 1, 2021 for small residential construction, and by Jan. 1, 2022 for larger residential and commercial developments.

Information about the Step Code requirements will be made available through the building permit application process. For more information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/energystepcode. Updates will be posted to the webpage regularly. 

Future Plans for Energy Step Code Increases

It is anticipated in December 2022, the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) will recommend an increase in Energy Step Code requirements. This recommendation may see a move of small residential developments and large residential combustible developments to Step 3, effective early 2023. 

Towards the end of 2023, City staff will report back to Council on the success of the Energy Step Code requirements and may recommend further increases early 2024. Recommendations will also be guided by the City’s Environmental Sustainability Plan now under preparation, as well as ongoing greenhouse gas modelling and tracking, and may be refined over time to reflect future advancements in building technology and industry capacity.

About the Energy Step Code 

The Energy Step Code is currently an optional compliance path in the BC Building Code (BCBC) that local governments may use to incentivize or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction. The optional compliance goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of the BCBC. It consists of a series of steps, representing increasing levels of energy-efficiency performance. By gradually adopting one or more steps, local governments can increase building performance requirements in their communities. In addition, builders have the option of building to the Energy Step Code, even if it is not required by a local government. The Province of British Columbia has set a goal that all new buildings must reach a net-zero energy ready level of efficiency by 2032; the BC Energy Step Code serves as the policy pathway to reach that goal. Learn more at www.energystepcode.ca.

Coquitlam’s Commitment to Climate Action 

Coquitlam is committed to taking action on climate change by promoting practices that reduce greenhouse gases and conserve energy, both in City operations and within the community. 

Coquitlam’s recently-adopted Climate Adaptation Strategic Plan augments more than a decade of City climate action that has included signing the Climate Action Charter in 2007, advocating for the world’s governments to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and initiating programs such as monitoring energy use in buildings, staff education, energy-sharing systems, LED lighting, programmable thermostats, waste heat recovery systems, and a growing “Ecofleet” of electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient compact vehicles. 

The City also promotes energy conservation to the community, including energy rebate programs, tips for residents and businesses, and a growing electric vehicle charging network (see www.coquitlam.ca/evcharging). For more information about the City’s climate action work, visit www.coquitlam.ca/climateaction.

Media contact:
Doug Vance
Building Permits Manager - Inspections
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3457
dvance@coquitlam.ca

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