New residential construction in Campbell River will now be eligible for a rebate on their building permit if they exceed BC Building Code for energy efficiency. Black Press File Photo

City of Campbell River to offer discounts on permits for energy efficient buildings

It will now cost you less to get a building permit if you’re being energy friendly

It will now cost you less to get a building permit if you’re being energy friendly.

As of April 1, new buildings that meet Energy Step Code standards are eligible for incentives ranging from $500 up to a 100 per cent building permit fee rebate, depending on the energy-efficiency standard met, which the city says is their way of providing financial incentive for developers to take energy efficiency into account in their planning.

“In the City’s Community Energy Emissions Plan, we aim to have one to two per cent of new buildings built beyond code for energy efficiency by 2020,” says Amber Zirnhelt, long range planning and sustainability manager for the city. “Working toward the Energy Step Code standard will help Campbell River achieve these objectives.”

The incentives are available while funding lasts for new permit applications for single-family residential buildings, town houses, patio homes, and small multi-family residential buildings. More information and application forms are available from the Development Services Department at City Hall.

The provincial government introduced the BC Energy Step Code in April 2017 to increase energy efficiency in new buildings. The Energy Step Code is a series of progressive performance targets – or steps – to meet standards above the BC Building Code for Part 9 buildings.

Each target is a percentage more efficient than the current building code to encourage builders to adopt the new building standards.

Incentives are per building (not per unit) as follows:

Step 2 (10% better energy efficiency): $500 for all building types

Step 3 (20% better energy efficiency): $750 single family homes; $1250 other housing types

Step 3 (20% better energy efficiency): $2,000 for electrically heated homes

Step 4 (40% better energy efficiency): 50% building permit fee rebate

Step 5 (net-zero – up to 80% better energy efficiency): 100% building permit fee rebate

The BC Energy Step Code is designed to move new construction toward the provincial goal of having buildings net-zero energy-ready by 2032. In a net-zero energy-ready building, the total amount of energy used for heating and power is equal to the amount of energy created on the site – achieved through a combination of energy efficient construction techniques and incorporating renewable energy.

The city is also hosting a series of regional workshops and training events for builders to learn more about future provincial requirements for new construction to meet the BC Energy Step Code.

The next workshop is scheduled for April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Coast Discovery Inn. Builders will have the opportunity to learn about optimizing building envelopes, air tightness testing, energy efficient mechanical systems and sizing, requirements for energy modelling, and how to work with an energy advisor. Advanced registration is required.

For more information on incentives or builder workshops, contact the city’s Building Department by email to building@campbellriver.ca or by telephone at 250-286-5757.

To learn more about the BC Energy Step Code visit www.energystepcode.ca

Incentives are funded by the City’s Carbon Neutral Reserve Fund, which includes Provincial Climate Action Incentive Program Rebate funding.

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