BC Energy Step Code: Presented by Fortis BC
What is the BC Energy Step Code?
The BC Energy Step Code is the product of a multi-year collaboration among local governments, industry stakeholders, utilities, and the provincial government.
Natural Gas Customers:
Your meter measures the volume of gas used. That information allows us to calculate how much energy is used in your home each month. We use a conversion factor to translate volume of gas used into energy consumed that takes into account your locations standard conditions of temperature, as well as the average energy content of the gas.
Learn more about your natural gas meter.
- Third-party consultants registered by service organizations licensed by Natural Resources Canada
- Deliver Natural Resource Canada’s EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR® for New Homes and R-2000 programs
- Can provide both energy modelling and airtightness testing, the two services needed to demonstrate compliance under the BC Energy Step Code for Part 9 residential buildings
- Only work on Part 9 residential buildings
Energy modellers perform similar work, but may not be affiliated with a service organization and the EnerGuide Rating System; instead, they may use other energy simulation software that meets the BC Energy Step Code’s requirements.
All energy advisors are energy modellers, but not all energy modellers are energy advisors.
For Part 3 buildings, modelling and airtightness testing is done by building envelope consultants and building scientists.
Learn more about Energy Advisors on the Step Code website.
Fortis has introduced their new construction program. Providing rebates to builders/developers when constructing high-performance residential and commercial buildings. Sponsorship funding may be available for your builder-related event in return for a speaking, or other promotional, opportunity to inform attendees about the rebate programs.
INTRODUCTION | THE STEP CODE PROCESS
INTRODUCTION | HEATING, VENTILATION & COOLING
Many different ways to heat a home or business, depending on services available in the area!
Natural gas and electricity are the leading resources. There is also oil, propane and (rarely) wood fired boilers
Systems can range from:
- Forced air furnaces
- Boiler fired in floor hydronic heat/radiators
- Baseboard heating
- Heat pumps
In recent years, more and more existing homes have undergone energy-efficiency improvements such as:
- Upgraded insulation
- Improved air sealing
- Installation of energyefficient windows, doors & heating systems
As well, improved practices in new home construction have resulted in more energy-efficient and airtight conventional homes. In many of these homes, air infiltration through doors, windows and other openings in the building shell is too random and does not always provide adequate ventilation, which is just as important in a conventional home as in an R-2000 home.
Even when there is an acceptable rate of air exchange, the fresh air may not be getting to the rooms where it is needed. As a result, mechanical ventilation is needed in many conventional homes in order to evenly distribute fresh air throughout the home and maintain a healthy living environment. An added benefit of mechanical ventilation systems is their capability to filter the incoming fresh outdoor air.
HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
The term HVAC is used to describe a complete home comfort system that can be used to heat and cool your home, as well as provide improved indoor air quality.
Myth: HVAC is the same as AC. AC simply refers to air conditioning on its own, while HVAC refers to the broader system, which may or may not include an air conditioning unit!
Efficiency ratings are always a concern when considering what system to use to heat your home or business
- Older forced air furnaces range from 77-80% efficiency
- Modern high efficiency condensing gas furnaces are around 96%.
- Electricity is 100% efficient but also at the highest cost.
- A high efficiency condensing gas furnace paired with a modern heat pump can be one of the least costly ways to heat your home as long as the HSPF ( heating seasonal performance factor) is at 9 or above and a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) of 15 or higher.
- HSPF number represents the total heat output of a heat pump, including the supplementary electric heat
- SEER rating is calculated by taking the cooling output for a typical cooling season and dividing it by the total electric energy input during the same time frame
- Heat pumps can also be used for cooling in the summer, eliminating the need for a standalone air conditioning unit.
Ventilation is an important piece of the HVAC puzzle!
- The need to bring fresh outdoor air into a home to replace the stale indoor air goes a long way toward providing comfort in the home especially in newer mor air tight homes.
- Introduced as a requirement for airtight R-2000* homes, continuous ventilation systems are now common in new conventional housing and major home renovations.
- Because of the energy savings generated, the system of choice is often a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).
An HRV is a mechanical ventilation device that helps make your home healthier, cleaner and more comfortable by continuously replacing stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.
HRVs are set apart from other mechanical ventilation devices by their ability to exchange heat between the supply and exhaust air streams, which in turn reduces the cost of heating or cooling the healthy fresh air that circulates through the home.
HRVs are sometimes called air-to-air heat exchangers because they preheat or cool incoming air using exhaust air.
R-2000 homes are the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes on the market today. Built, tested and certified to exacting technical standards, R-2000 homes use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional homes.
- A tightly sealed building envelope to reduce drafts and heat loss; • high levels of insulation
- A whole-house ventilation system
- Advanced heating and cooling systems
- Energy-efficient windows and doors
- Energy-efficient appliances and lighting
- Reduced water consumption
- The use of environmentally responsible building materials (including recycled materials).