Proposed building and plumbing code regulations released today, Oct. 17, will mean increased energy efficiency for homes and offices in Nova Scotia. “The regulations are updated regularly to make them consistent with Canada’s national building and plumbing codes,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development and Minister of Environment. “But, more importantly, this round of revisions will ensure all new homes and small buildings meet water and energy-efficiency standards, which will save Nova Scotians money and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.” The changes proposed for houses and small buildings will replace and surpass EnerGuide home efficiency goals that were identified in the Environmental Goals and Sustainability Act last year. When the revisions take effect April 1, the goals will be met 21 months earlier than planned. “These efficiency measures will pay for themselves within five years through reduced heating costs, and will continue to pay dividends for the entire lifespan of the building,” said Mr. Parent. “Nova Scotians are telling us they support energy and water conservation measures, and we are pleased to lead the country in responding to that interest.” The revisions are also designed to increase consumer protection by establishing minimum standards for builders who promise customers energy conservation measures. This means customers can be assured that their home is built using improved practices that will translate to lower energy costs. New greywater provisions will address in-home recycling of wastewater from showers or sinks. Other revisions will clarify barrier-free requirements for emergency response facilities and sprinkler requirements for small residential buildings. The deadline for public comments is Wednesday, Dec. 3. The proposed changes are available on the Labour and Workforce Development website at www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/buildingcode/ . People who want to obtain a copy can call Access Nova Scotia at 1-800-670-4357 (toll free in Nova Scotia).