BC Energy Step Code

Effective May 1, 2023: The province of BC has moved to Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code Program by changing the building code to require most new construction in BC be 20% more energy efficient than base 2018 BC Building Code. 

The opt-in Zero Carbon Step Code is also available for local governments and will apply to all new homes in the RDEK’s Electoral Areas. Municipal residents should check with their municipal office.

What is the BC Energy Step Code?
The performance approach establishes a desired outcome, and leaves it to the design and building team to decide how to achieve it.
To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders must do an energy model at the design phase and conduct on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the standard. They may use any materials or construction methods to do so.
The Performance Pathway of the BC Energy Step Code changes the building process in three main ways. New builds will now have to:
  1. Conduct energy modeling at the design phase
  2. Test air tightness at completion
  3. Quantify mechanical efficiency and heating needs

As shown below, the regulation sets performance targets for new construction and groups them into “steps” that apply across various building types and regions of the province. The Lower Steps are relatively straightforward to meet; the Upper Steps are more ambitious.







For governments, the BC Energy Step Code offers assurance that new buildings are performing as billed. Meanwhile, on the other side of the counter, builders have a more flexible option to comply with the energy-efficiency provisions of the provincial legislation. The new standard empowers builders to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions—and allows them to incorporate leading-edge technologies as they come available.

Where do I learn More About BC Energy Step Code?
You can learn more about the BC Energy Step Code by contacting one of our Building Officials. You can also check out the following resources:
How do I Find an Energy Advisor?
Better Homes BC keeps an up to date list of qualified professionals who can help you with your project. For more information, please visit their website at: Better Homes BC

Last edited: Wed, May 03, 2023 - 9:46:48