Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code

A building permit application for new construction must demonstrate compliance with the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code, provincial standards that provide a consistent approach to achieving high performance low carbon new buildings.

Summary of requirements

This table provides a summary of the requirements. For a more in-depth look, review our July 10, 2023 staff report to Council

Building type Description Requirement as of November 1, 2023
Part 9 residential Single family home, coach house, smaller townhouse Step 5 OR 
Step 4 and Emissions Level 3*
Part 3 residential  Larger multi-family and apartment projects Step 4 OR 
Step 3 and Emissions Level 3*
Part 3 commercial Larger commercial, office, and retail buildings Step 3 OR 
Step 2 and Emissions Level 3*
Public sector buildings Schools, libraries, colleges, recreation centres, hospitals, and care centres Step 2

*See details of the emission levels on the BC Energy Step Code website, and the convenience copy of the BC Building Code update .

Training Opportunities

Opportunities are listed on the BC Step Code Events Calendar.

Required forms

Forms for Part 9 residential buildings

  • GHG Calculator
  • Part 9 compliance reports 
  • Home energy labels - To help raise consumer awareness about home energy performance, we require a home energy label, such as an EnerGuide Rating System label, to be affixed on or near the electrical panel within each dwelling unit.

Forms for Part 3 residential and commercial buildings

  • Design verification report
  • Part 3 energy design reports
  • Energy benchmarking - To better understand the energy performance of buildings in the community, we require applicants to create an Energy Star Portfolio Manager profile of the proposed building(s) and share the property profile with the District prior to occupancy.

For more information on the application process including the benchmarking and labeling requirements, download the Zero Carbon Step Code information guide for applicants.

More about the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code

The Zero Carbon Step Code is a new standard that limits greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings. Similar to the BC Energy Step Code, the Zero Carbon Step Code is available for municipalities to adopt to encourage or require low carbon buildings.

The BC Energy Step Code sets out energy efficiency targets for new buildings to meet. These standards have been set to encourage the construction of energy efficient buildings, making all new buildings net zero ready by 2032.

Builders must use energy modelling software and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code.

Get more information and resources on the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code

Reaching our climate action and environmental health goals

We're taking action in six key areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity, and improve our resilience to climate change.

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