The BC Energy Step Code is already in place for builds in most BC cities. By 2032, however, all homes in Canada must be Net-Zero. That means many Homeowners will have to make major renovations before then. What are these renovations – and when is the best time to do them?

Take a page from Step Code for your renovations

The Step Code is about changing and growing. Instead of waiting to the last minute to make changes, the Step Code encourages being proactive. By using a similar approach, you can ensure you do not get hit with a whole range of expensive renovations later on. Here are the upgrades that are needed – and when to consider getting them:

1. Insulation

In order for your home to be Net-Zero, you will likely need to add at least 4” of high-quality insulation, usually to the exterior of your Home. Extremely drafty or poorly insulated homes might need 6” or more inches. Once you add this insulation, your home will be more comfortable, maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the year. You will also be able to save money on your heating bill. Best of all, once your insulation is in place, it will last for a hundred years.

When to make this upgrade

The best time to upgrade your insulation is when you are replacing your Siding, although it also can be good to change your Windows at the same time. While this upgrade can be costly, there are a number of rebates available through the government.

2. House wrap

A house wrap is key to making your home airtight. In the past, wraps have just been tar paper or plastic building wraps and applied with staples. These wraps do little to slow down the moisture from getting into your home, and even less to help dry out your home. At the same time, they do not properly seal your home. New, high-quality wraps allow you to seal your home, reducing the number of drafts that you have in your home. At the same time, they are breathable, ensuring that moisture escapes as their membranes allow moisture to travel out but not back in.  

When to make this upgrade

Like with insulation, a good time to add a new wrap to your house is when you’re replacing your siding. Building wraps are not expensive to upgrade but will make a big difference in the airtightness of and moisture level in your home.

3. Heat recovery ventilation system

A heat recovery ventilation system is a significant component of a Net-Zero home. It is also a requirement for every new home and major renovation. Heat recovery ventilation systems reduce the amount of heating and cooling required in your home. This also means that your bills will be lowered. Before choosing a system, make sure to consult with professionals about what is right for your home.

When to make this upgrade

Whenever you are doing a major renovation, add a heat recovery ventilation system. While this can be costly, it will improve the quality of air in your House and reduce the costs of heating your home.

There are a number of rebates you can currently get, although they change on a regularly. That is even more reason to look into upgrades sooner than later.

Visit https://efficiencybc.ca/incentives/ to see what rebates you are eligible for.