When does the Step Code come into effect in Nanaimo?
The City of Nanaimo has adopted a phased approach to allow builders time to transition to the new BC Energy Step Code requirements (see 'Background' for more information about the BC Energy Step Code).
From April 21st, 2020 to January 1st, 2021, new Part 9 residential and Part 3 commercial and residential buildings will need to demonstrate "enhanced compliance" with Step 1 of the Step Code. Step 1 involves demonstrating, through a third party energy assessment, that a new residential or commercial building has met minimum energy efficiency requirements found in the current (2018) BC Building Code by measuring air-tightness and energy performance.
Starting January 2nd, 2021, all new Part 9 residential buildings in Nanaimo will be built 10% more energy efficient than current (2018) building code requirements.
Beginning January 2nd, 2022, all new Part 9 residential buildings will be required to be 20% more energy efficient than current (2018) building code requirements. Also, Part 3 commercial and residential buildings must achieve 20% to 40% more efficiency than the current (2018) building code requirements.
Energy Step Code Rezoning Policy
On June 29th, 2021 the Energy Step Code Rezoning Policy will come into force. The Policy will exceed the Province's Energy Step Code requirements, which are implemented through the B.C. Building Code and the City's Building Bylaw (2016 No. 7224). After the adoption date, rezoning applications that lead to an increase in density or a change of use, the City will require any development on the property to meet enhanced Step Code requirements or meet a greenhouse gas reduction threshold as a condition of rezoning.
Rebates and Incentive Programs
To help support the transition to the Step Code, the City of Nanaimo is offering an Home Energy Assessment Rebate. A $150 rebate is available to homeowners that complete a home energy assessment that sets an EnerGuide rating for their home. In addition to the $150 rebate, homeowners who complete a follow-up assessment and can improve on the initial EnerGuide rating, can receive an additional incentive, up to a maximum of $200.
Between now and April 21st, 2020, developers of new Part 9 buildings can also take advantage of the rebate, while funding lasts.
For developers applying for a Development Permit in Nanaimo, there is the opportunity to acquire additional density in many zones by providing amenities as outlined in 'Schedule D' of the City of Nanaimo Zoning Bylaw. As of November 4, 2019, proposed buildings following the Step Code that exceed the minimum Building Bylaw requirements will be eligible for points towards additional density. More information about the additional density requirements can be found in this Report to Council.