Energy Step Code

A building permit application for new construction must demonstrate compliance with the BC Energy Step Code, a provincial standard that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieving more energy-efficient buildings.

We're proposing a low carbon approach to future Energy Step Code implementation. Here's a summary of our existing and proposed requirements:

Building type Description Required step Proposed step
Part 9 residential Single family home, coach house, smaller townhouse Step 3 Step 5 OR
Step 3 with a low carbon energy system
Part 3 residential  Larger multi-family and apartment projects Step 3 ( Step 2 if rezoning is not required) Step 4 OR
Step 3 with a low carbon energy system
Part 3 commercial Larger commercial, office, and retail buildings Step 1 Step 3 OR
Step 2 with a low carbon energy system
Part 3 commercial Significant renovations No requirement Step 1
Public sector buildings Schools, libraries, colleges, recreation centres, hospitals, and care centres No requirement Step 1

Learn more about the BC Energy Step Code

What is a low carbon energy system?

A low carbon energy system refers to heating or hot water systems that produce low levels of greenhouse gas.

The proposed requirements would encourage low carbon construction by limiting the greenhouse gas production of a building.

Following the approval of our Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP), we're proposing the changes in the table above to the District’s BC Energy Step Code requirements for all new construction (residential and non-residential). Questions or comments? Contact us at

Required forms

Forms for Part 9 residential buildings

Forms for Part 3 residential and commercial buildings

More about the BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code takes a new, performance-based approach rather than the traditional prescriptive approach.

The BC Energy Step Code does not specify how to construct a building, but identifies a building energy-efficiency target that must be met, and lets the designer/builder, working with an energy advisor, decide how to meet it

How to comply

To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, 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.

The new standard empowers builders to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions, and allows them to incorporate leading-edge technologies as they come available.

Get complete details from the Province of BC

Find helpful industry resources from the Province's Building and Safety Standards Branch

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