Building new homes to higher steps of the BC Energy Step Code 

Photo credits: LSP Media

We’re helping home builders and developers achieve Step 5 with our new home construction rebates. Learn more about how the New Home Program has evolved over the years and read our case studies to see how builders are constructing high-performance homes with advanced building envelopes and energy-efficient space and water heating.

New Home Program: 10 plus years and going strong

Since 2011, the New Home Program has been offering rebates to builders to encourage them to build energy-efficient homes. The program has evolved over the years—as have energy-efficiency requirements—and in 2018, we aligned it with the BC Energy Step Code. In 2020, we added the Design Offer to encourage collaboration through an integrated design process and uptake of building envelope and mechanical design. These activities all help contribute to a project’s successful achievement of Step 3, 4 or 5.

We’ve got rebates

Get details on all the rebates and options available through the New Home Program.

Case studies: how builders are reaching higher steps

Regardless of the energy source used for heating and cooling, constructing a high-performance home starts with a building envelope that uses advanced airtightness layers and innovative insulation options.

These case studies demonstrate how home builders across BC are achieving higher steps of the BC Energy Step Code, with help from energy advisors and our New Home Program.


Photo credits: LSP Media

Step 5, detached home, Campbell River

The builder incorporated passive solar design, strategically placed windows and overhangs and made careful material selections.

Step 5, detached home, Quesnel

Located in one of BC’s colder regions, this home achieved Step 5 by investing in the building envelope using insulated concrete foundation forms, double-framed 2x4 walls and additional rigid insulation. 

Step 5, detached home, Kimberley

The builder/owner incorporated passive solar design, Scandinavian architecture that minimizes the surface area of exterior walls and double-framed 2x4 exterior walls with three layers of R14 insulation.

Steps 4 and 5, duplex, Kimberley

The homes in this seven-unit duplex project achieved Steps 4 and 5. The builder worked closely with an energy advisor throughout the project to incorporate passive solar and a high level of airtightness, building a Step 5 home for an additional $15,000.

Step 4, detached home, Campbell River

By working with an energy advisor, the builder achieved Step 4 with improved airtightness, insulated concrete forms, R22 batt insulation and a high-quality commercial-grade air barrier.

Photo credits: Janis Nicolay, Pinecone Camp

Step 3, laneway home, North Vancouver

This laneway home achieved Step 3 despite the limitations of municipal bylaws and a smaller plot. The home incorporated strategic window placements and meticulously installed air barrier and spray foam insulation. A compact mechanical system was needed to maximize living space in this home.

Step 3, detached home, Maple Ridge

Having limited experience with the BC Energy Step Code, this builder was motivated by a desire to build a more energy-efficient home. They built two similar homes in the same subdivision, one to BC Building Code and the other to Step 3, which was achieved by focusing on the building envelope and airtightness.

Renewable Natural Gas for new homes

Building a new home with natural gas provides your homebuyers with low-carbon options for their home’s energy needs, now and into the future. We’re increasing our supplies of low-carbon Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)1 and are working toward our goal of having 75 per cent of the gas in our system as renewable and low-carbon by 2050.

Energy solutions managers are here to help

Not sure what rebate path is right for you or want to learn how an energy advisor can help you achieve a higher level of energy efficiency? Before breaking ground, contact a FortisBC energy solutions manager in your region.

Cities Contact
Vancouver to Whistler; plus Richmond, Burnaby and New Westminster

Wayne Cankovic
Tel: 604-932-8941
Toll free: 1-888-717-7888
[email protected]

Delta, Langley, White Rock, Surrey

Christopher Hsiang
Tel: 604-592-7839
Cell: 604-290-5198
[email protected]

Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody

Rob Zelisko
Tel: 778-547-0166
Cell: 604-209-7494
[email protected]

Capital Regional District

Spencer Evans
Tel: 250-380-5780
Cell: 250-812-5890
[email protected]

Mid-Island (Malahat to Lantzville and Port Alberni

Jeff Coulombe
Tel: 250-751-8367
Cell: 778-879-6446
[email protected]

North Island and Sunshine Coast (Nanoose Bay to Campbell River, Powell River and Sechelt-Gibsons)

Greg Enns
Tel: 250-703-6814
Cell: 250-201-0052
Toll free: 1-866-225-1188
[email protected]

East Kootenays, Central Okanagan, South Okanagan and SimilkameenWade Benner
Tel: 250-868-4554
Cell: 250-215-4564
Toll free: 1-855-868-4554
[email protected]
North Okanagan, Cariboo, Peace, Thompson-Nicola (including Revelstoke) and West Kootenays

Peter Hill
Tel: 250-868-4583
Cell: 250-215-9514
Toll free: 1-855-868-4583
[email protected]

1Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It’s derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane).