Sooke politicians won’t step up to energy code anytime soon

Several factors behind decison to hold off on building code program

Both Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area won’t implementing the new B.C. Energy Step Code anytime soon, say local politicians.

The Step Code is an amendment to the B.C. Building Code announced last year that establishes performance-based energy efficiency requirements for new residential and commercial construction with the ultimate goal that all new buildings will be “net-zero energy ready” by 2032.

The term describes a building that consumes an amount of energy that is roughly equal to the renewable energy produced on site. The renewable energy is often produced through solar panels or wind turbines.

The Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca Electoral Area won’t be adopting the program now because of the impact it would have on housing prices, and how much longer it would take to get building permits issued, said local CRD director Mike Hicks.

“The code could add between $55,000 and $110,000 to the cost of a new house,” he said. “And in addition to the building permit process now, it would require air tests and inspections be made on buildings.”

Hicks believes the Juan de Fuca area would get far less attention than the more urban areas by inspectors, causing the building permit processes to be delayed.

“It’s not practical for rural areas. We already struggle in this area to get building permits done in time, and this would add a whole other element of delay, because it doesn’t make sense that an inspector would come out and do one house in our area in a day when they could do 40 in Victoria,” he said.

Sooke officials said they do not know enough about the program yet to say whether it would be effective, or if they would want to introduce it.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said the district’s planning department is expected to take a look at the program, and bring it to council for further discussion.

“In terms of Sooke and our next step, we’re not quite there yet. We are just a bit caught up with other issues right now,” Tait said.

“I know home buyers today are looking for more energy efficient homes because it would potentially lead to savings over time, so it’s definitely a topic we want to add to our conversation.”

Hicks said he wants to wait and see how it works in other municipalities first, such as Saanich and Victoria where he thinks the code would be better suited.

“We’re not going to adopt it until we see it’s welcomed by our builders and our residents,” he said. “We support the energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gases and we will watch how things go, but I think we’ll be one of the last to adopt this code.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Fall Fair postponed until 2021

Organizers hope to still hold some form of competitions

Cyclists see potential and pitfalls in Sooke infrastructure

Getting from Sooke Road to Galloping Goose Trail a challenge for bike riders

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

SEAPARC solidifies plans for Sooke summer camps

Facility set to reopen to the public

Firefighters called for technical rescue at Sooke Potholes

Woman breaks her leg while walking along riverbed

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read