Communities within the province are preparing to adopt a new, environmentally friendly building code.

Beginning June 21, communities across B.C.., including Fort St. John have agreed to adopt a new building regulation, which promotes the use of alternative energy by requiring all new single family homes to be built solar hot water ready.

During the construction process, houses will be built to accommodate the future installation of a renewable energy system, which includes designating an area specifically for a solar collector. However, new buildings will not be required to have such solar components installed.

The adoption of this new regulation is the decision of the local government, as not every community can benefit from solar power.

Solar hot water homes support the province’s commitment to emphasize clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and construct sustainable communities.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman, says “greening the building code is an important part of the provincial goal to reduce greenhouse as emissions. It is one of many steps the government is taking to help us meet our energy conservation targets as are population expands and demand for electricity grows. It’s encouraging to see many communities work towards a cleaner future.”

According to the B.C. Government, making a house solar ready will only add approximately $200 to $500 to the cost of a new home. They also state a solar hot water system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one to two tonnes per year for a single family home using natural gas for water heating.

For more information on the new green building code, visit the B.C. Governments official website.