In 2014, the Province of British Columbia identified a need to more effectively serve local governments that wanted to require highly energy-efficient new buildings. At the time, local governments were relying on a variety of third-party programs and standards to supplement the energy-efficiency requirements in the British Columbia Building Code.

Meanwhile, the Province was hearing feedback from builders that the patchwork of different local requirements was challenging to work within.

Finally, the Province was looking for a policy mechanism to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the buildings sector, to help meet its climate-leadership commitments.

Clearly, a new approach was needed to address all of these issues.

In response, the Province launched a series of consultations. Over the course of several years, the government engaged with local governments, the building and development sectors—and the trades and professions that support them—utilities, and other stakeholders.

By mid 2016, this group reached consensus on the core elements of what is today the BC Energy Step Code. In early 2017, the group renamed itself the Energy Step Code Council with a mandate to provide guidance on the BC Energy Step Code and support its implementation.