Communities can use a wide variety of policy tools to incentivize or require the BC Energy Step Code. On this page, we’re outlining how local governments and others are putting the standard to work.
You can find a summary of these efforts in this infographic.
Let us know how you’re referencing the BC Energy Step Code by emailing the Building and Safety Standards Branch and we’ll share your story here.
Consulting on the BC Energy Step Code
These local governments have submitted their initial notification, indicating they have started to consult on the BC Energy Step Code (listed by date of submission).
The * symbol in this list means the local government now references the BC Energy Step Code in a policy, program or bylaw – see how below.
- City of Richmond – June 16, 2017*
- City of North Vancouver – July 4, 2017*; new consultation on low-carbon energy systems started July 20, 2020
- City of Campbell River – July 10, 2017*
- City of Duncan – August 24, 2017*
- District of North Vancouver – September 1, 2017*
- City of Victoria – September 27, 2017*
- District of Saanich – September 27, 2017*
- Comox Valley Regional District – October 3, 2017*
- District of North Saanich – October 4, 2017*
- Resort Municipality of Whistler – October 5, 2017*
- District of West Vancouver – October 24, 2017 *
- Township of Langley – November 7, 2017*
- District of Squamish – November 9, 2017*
- City of New Westminster – November 28, 2017*
- City of Surrey – December 7, 2017*
- City of Kelowna – January 22, 2018*
- City of Penticton – January 27, 2018*
- City of Burnaby – March 1, 2018* (resubmitted April 10, 2019 to add Part 9 consultation)
- City of Kimberley – March 12, 2018*
- City of Vernon – March 19, 2018
- Village of Belcarra – March 27, 2018*
- District of Peachland – March 28, 2018
- District of Oak Bay – April 11, 2018*
- City of West Kelowna – April 12, 2018
- District of Sparwood – April 23, 2018*
- District of Summerland – June 5, 2018
- District of Lake Country – June 7, 2018*
- City of Nanaimo – June 25, 2018
- City of Kamloops – July 17, 2018*
- District of Central Saanich – July 17, 2018*
- City of Port Moody – September 24, 2018*
- City of Nelson – October 9, 2018*
- Village of Anmore – October 22, 2018*
- District of Elkford – November 6, 2018
- City of Abbotsford – January 28, 2019
- City of Rossland – February 8, 2019*
- Town of Creston – February 22, 2019
- Village of New Denver – February 28, 2019
- Bowen Island Municipality – March 4, 2019*
- Regional District of East Kootenay – March 12, 2019
- Village of Kaslo – March 25, 2019
- City of Port Coquitlam – April 23, 2019
- City of Maple Ridge – May 31, 2019
- Village of Pemberton – June 21, 2019*
- Municipality of North Cowichan – August 21, 2019*
- City of Powell River – September 4, 2019
- Town of Smithers – September 4, 2019
- City of Salmon Arm – September 11, 2019
- Regional District of Central Kootenay – September 13, 2019
- City of Terrace – September 13, 2019
- City of Courtenay – October 3, 2019*
- City of Colwood – October 9, 2019
- Village of Golden – October 15, 2019
- Village of Nakusp – October 16, 2019
- Village of Slocan – October 17, 2019
- Town of View Royal – October 25, 2019
- Town of Comox – October 25, 2019*
- City of Fernie – October 29, 2019
- District of Ucluelet – October 31, 2019
- City of Pitt Meadows – Jan. 29, 2020*
- City of Prince George – Feb. 19, 2020
- Town of Gibsons – Feb. 20, 2020
- District of Sechelt – March 2, 2020
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – March 6, 2020
- City of Revelstoke – May 19, 2020
- City of Castlegar – May 25, 2020
- City of Cranbrook – July 14, 2020
- Regional District of Kootenay Boundary – July 17, 2020
Referencing the BC Energy Step Code
Bowen Island Municipality
Starting October 9, 2019, all new construction and substantial renovations on Bowen Island will need to meet Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code. By assuring building energy efficiency, we are contributing to our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 by 2020. This is part of Bowen’s Climate Action Program.
By using the provincial standard, Bowen Island is joining 44 other municipalities (and growing) across the province in working towards a single, performance-based standard.
In 2020, the requirement will increase to Step 3, which mandates good building energy performance.
Bowen Island Municipality has been awarded $12,000 in rebate funds from BC Hydro’s Energy Step Code Building Incentive Offer. To be eligible, the project must be a Part 9 (i.e. residential) building with a building permit application submitted on or after BC Energy Code regulations become mandatory. Rebates of up to $250 will be available for energy modeling costs and up to another $250 for the post-construction blower door test, with a maximum of $500 per project.
- For more information, visit the Bowen Island Municipality website.
City of Burnaby
The City of Burnaby is taking a phased approach to the implementation of the BC Energy Step Code, starting with Part 3 policy. Part 9 policy is currently in development.
- Read the City of Burnaby’s Council Report for New Part 3 buildings approved Nov. 19, 2018
- Learn more from the City of Burnaby’s Green Buildings web page
City of Campbell River
The City of Campbell River offers financial incentives for new energy-efficient residential buildings constructed to meet the BC Energy Step Code. Incentives are available starting April 1, 2018, while funding is available.
- Learn about the City of Campbell River’s incentive program
City of Courtenay
The City of Courtenay has adopted the BC Energy Step Code, effective April 6, 2020. The initial implementation will require Step 2 for all Part 3 & Part 9 buildings. Step 3 will be required for Part 9 buildings effective January 1st 2021.
City of Duncan
A density bonus is permitted in several residential and commercial zones (Medium Density Residential Zone, High Density Residential Zone, Downtown Comprehensive Zone, and Neighbourhood Commercial Zone) that permit medium to high density development if the developer meets at least one of three conditions. One condition is that “the entire development achieves or exceeds British Columbia Energy Step Code Level 3 energy efficient requirements.”
The City is currently considering future Step Code requirements.
- Learn more about the City of Duncan’s zoning bylaws (PDF, 1.7 MB)
City of Kamloops
The City of Kamloops will implement a voluntary BC Energy Step Code compliance program Oct. 1, 2019 with incentives for builders who choose to participate. Effective January 1, 2022, the City of Kamloops will require all Part 9 buildings to meet Step 3. This date was chosen to provide a clear date of adoption to give the building community adequate time to prepare.
- Visit the City of Kamloops’ BC Energy Step Code website for more information
City of Kelowna
Kelowna’s BC Energy Step Code Implementation Strategy for Part 9 residential buildings was endorsed by Council on May 6th, 2019, with the following key dates:
- December 1, 2019: Step 1 implementation – Part 9 residential buildings must be designed and constructed to meet or exceed Step 1 performance requirements
- June 1, 2021: Step 3 implementation – Part 9 residential buildings must be designed and constructed to meet or exceed Step 3 performance requirements
Visit the City of Kelowna’s website to learn more, sign up for email updates or find out about Building Permit rebate opportunities.
City of Kimberley
The City of Kimberley’s Energy Efficient Building Incentive Program (EEBIP) is a simple and pragmatic approach to help local builders learn and adapt to new methods and materials to reduce the energy demand and carbon emissions associated with the heating and cooling of buildings. Since the program was modified in 2017 to reference the BC Energy Step Code, each completed project has achieved at least Step 3 or better. The City of Kimberley’s program has been effective in helping improve the knowledge and expertise of local builders in high-performance building construction, and the quality and energy efficiency of new buildings .
- Learn about Kimberley’s Energy Efficiency Building Incentive Program
- Read the City of Kimberley’s Building Bylaw 2620
City of Nelson
Between Aug. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020, Part 9 residential buildings will have to achieve a minimum Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code. All applications will have to include a pre-construction report from a certified energy advisor and building permits will not be closed until a post-construction report and confirmation is provided that Step 1 has been achieved.
Council is currently considering increasing these requirements, as of January 1, 2021, so Part 9 buildings must meet a minimum of Step 3, and Part 3 buildings must meet a minimum of Step 2. In a report to Council on Sept. 8, 2020, staff noted that most Part 9 permits issued since August 2019 would be projected to meet or exceed Step 3, even when the required minimum at the time was Step 1. This has passed three readings to inform the community, but has not been formally adopted yet.
- Read the City of Nelson’s Building Bylaw 3456, 2019 (Step 1 minimum)
- Read the June 24, 2019 City of Nelson Council Report introducing a Step 1 minimum for Part 9 only
- Read the Sept. 8, 2020 Council Report increasing the minimum required Step effective Jan. 1, 2021
City of New Westminster
On February 25, 2019, City of New Westminster Council gave final reading and officially adopted Building Bylaw Amendment No. 8084, 2019, requiring new buildings to achieve a minimum level of the BC Energy Step Code effective March 31, 2019 for Part 9 residential buildings, and effective January 1, 2020 for Part 3 multi-unit residential and commercial buildings. This capped 18 months of industry and City staff engagement, as well as background analysis to develop a BC Energy Step Code framework. In tandem, the City is delivering a comprehensive program of industry training, builder/developer Breakfasts, and incentives on energy modeling to support implementation. Watch for the City’s new BC Energy Step Code website coming fall 2019.
City of North Vancouver
The City of North Vancouver has put into place a robust and visionary implementation approach that targets buildings city-wide at lower levels of the BC Energy Step Code, with incrementally higher steps within the city’s Rezoning Policy, and at highest steps in exchange for density in specific neighbourhoods.
- Learn about the City of North Vancouver’s approach to the BC Energy Step Code
City of Penticton
The City of Penticton will be implementing Step 1 on March 15, 2019 for all Part 9 residential buildings as regulated within City of Penticton Building Bylaw No. 2018-01 Part 26. This timeline is based on initial Building Bylaw amendment feedback and will allow for more education for industry in working with Energy Advisors and on detailing for air barriers.
- Learn more about the City’s Building Bylaw and the Bylaw modernization process
- Find out about the City’s final public engagement
City of Pitt Meadows
The City of Pitt Meadows now requires new buildings to meet Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code.
- Learn more at the City of Pitt Meadows website
City of Port Moody
The City of Port Moody endorsed an early adoption strategy for the BC Energy Step Code on July 9, 2019.
Starting Sept. 1, 2019:
- Part 9 rezoning applications must meet Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code
- Part 3 rezoning applications must meet Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code OR Step 2 with the installation of a low-carbon energy system
Starting Jan. 1, 2020:
- Part 9 and Part 3 (office, retail, and hotel) building permit applications must meet Step 1 of the Energy Step Code; and
- Part 3 large residential building permit applications must meet Step 2 of the BC Energy Step Code OR Step 1 with the installation of a low carbon energy system
The full report can be found from pages 85-112 here (PDF, 43.4 MB).
City of Richmond
The City of Richmond formally adopted bylaws enacting the BC Energy Step Code at a Public Hearing held July 16, 2018. The BC Energy Step Code will enter into force for new Building Permit applications as of September 1, 2018 (noting that there are in-stream provisions for projects with Development Permits issued or in process).
- Learn about the City of Richmond’s stakeholder consultation process and Airtightness Training Program
- Read the City of Richmond’s Report to Council
- Review the City of Richmond’s bylaw changes (re: Building Development Bylaw, Zoning Bylaw, Richmond Official Community Plan bylaw)
- City of Richmond Building Bulletins:
- Bulletin 37 – Energy Step Code: Overview for Part 9 Buildings
- Bulletin 38 – Building to the Energy Step Code: Single-Family Dwellings and Duplexes
- Bulletin 39 – Building to the Energy Step Code: Part 9 Townhouses and Apartments
- Bulletin 40 – Building to the Energy Step Code: Part 3 Buildings
City of Rossland
The City of Rossland passed a resolution to adopt Step 1 by December 15, 2019 and is offering an incentive and rebate program to help builders/designers learn and adapt to the coming change. Rossland offers a $500 incentive grant for the services of an Energy Advisor, and further incremental discounts on Building Permit fees to promote the BC Energy Step Code for new home construction.
- Learn more about the City of Rossland’s Energy Efficient Building Incentive Program
- Read the City of Rossland’s incentive policy
City of Surrey
The City of Surrey has adopted the BC Energy Step Code effective April 2019. Starting April 1, 2019, the Step Code will apply to new, BC Building Code Part 3 and Part 9 commercial and residential buildings in Surrey, changing the City’s inspection, permitting and review processes and requirements for new construction.
- Visit the City of Surrey’s BC Energy Step Code website
- Review the City of Surrey’s Corporate Report
- Sign up for Email Alerts to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Surrey
- Email email@example.com if you have questions about Surrey’s approach
City of Victoria
Victoria City Council adopted the BC Energy Step Code on April 26, 2018, and ratified the Bylaw on October 4, 2018. Beginning November 1, 2018, there is an interim transition period during which builders and developers will need to meet Step 1, meaning they will need to use an energy model and conduct airtightness testing in the building. Then, beginning January 1, 2020, all new construction will be built to be 20% more energy efficient than current code requirements. The City will support builders to use an energy model, conduct a mid-construction blower door test, a post-construction blower door test, and secure a home energy label through a $500 rebate supported by BC Hydro.
- Review the City of Victoria’s council report describing the adoption approach
- Review the City’s updated website information
Comox Valley Regional District
The Comox Valley Regional District is offering rebates for new residential dwellings that achieve at least Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code. The rebates will range from 25% for achieving Step 3 to 100% for achieving Step 5. The program started on January 1, 2018.
- Learn about Comox Valley Regional District’s Planning and Building Application Fee Rebates Policy
District of Central Saanich
The District of Central Saanich is moving forward requiring Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code in 2020. Starting January 1, 2021, Step 2 or 3 construction will be required, depending on building type. These bylaw requirements followed a public consultation, which included reaching out to the building industry and the general community.
To encourage higher step code construction, the District is offering rebates on building permit fees ranging from 25% for achieving Step 3 to 100% for reaching Step 5, when building to a higher step than required. The District of Central Saanich currently requires Step 3 compliant construction for those buildings constructed following a rezoning approval.
- Learn more about the District of Central Saanich’s approach
District of Lake Country
District of Lake Country adopted a new Building Regulation Bylaw effective March 5, 2019 and will be implementing Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code for all Part 9 buildings effective April 1, 2019. Step 3 will be implemented for all Part 9 buildings other than accessory suites effective October 1, 2020. Accessory Suites will be required to meet Step 2, effective Oct 1, 2020 and Step 3 effective January 1, 2022.
- Read the February 2019 Report to Council about the Building Bylaw amendments
- Visit the District of Lake Country’s website
District of North Saanich
The District of North Saanich formally adopted bylaws enacting the BC Energy Step Code on October 22, 2018. Effective January 1, 2019, all Part 9 and Part 3 buildings will be required to be built to Step 1 requirements. Effective January 1, 2020, Part 9 and Part 3 buildings will be required to meet Step 3 requirements, except Part 9 buildings equal or less than 92 square meters in size, which will only require Step 2 compliance.
- Learn more about the District of Saanich’s approach
District of North Vancouver
The District of North Vancouver has a new Construction Bylaw that also adopts the BC Energy Step Code in the following manner, effective July 1, 2018:
- All Part 3 Commercial Buildings are required to meet Step 1
- All Part 3 Residential Buildings are required to meet Step 2
- Part 3 Residential Projects that require rezoning will be required to meet Step 3
- All Part 9 Residential Buildings are required to meet Step 3
- Learn more about the District of North Vancouver’s BC Energy Step Code actions
District of Oak Bay
On October 9, 2018, the District of Oak Bay Council adopted the BC Energy Step Code. As of November 1, 2018 all new Part 3 and Part 9 buildings are required to meet Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code. This will transition up to Step 2 for Part 3 buildings and Step 3 for Part 9 buildings effective January 1, 2020.
- Visit the District of Oak Bay’s website for more information
- Review the District of Oak Bay’s May 2018 Council Report and July 2018 Council Report outlining their approach
District of Saanich
From June 1 to December 31, 2019, building permits for new buildings (Part 9 and Part 3 buildings) in the District of Saanich will need to demonstrate compliance with Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code. Building permits applied for on or after January 1, 2020 will need to demonstrate compliance with the steps adopted for their particular building typology.
- Learn more about the District of Saanich’s program
District of Sparwood
The District of Sparwood Energy Step Code Policy is designed to encourage builders to choose the performance path when complying with BC Building Code energy-efficiency requirements. This will assist in understanding and adapting to BC Energy Step Code requirements. Rebates range from $500 plus a contribution to Energy Advisor Fees for Step 1 compliance, to 100% of Building Permit fees plus a contribution to Energy Advisor Fees for Step 5 compliance.
- Learn about Sparwood’s rebate program
- Review Sparwood’s Energy Step Code Policy (prepared 2018) or read the 2018 Report to Council
District of Squamish
The BC Energy Step Code went into effect in the District of Squamish on July 1, 2018.
- Visit the District of Squamish’s BC Energy Step Code web page
- Read the District of Squamish’s building bylaw
- Learn more on the District of Squamish’s builders’ corner blog
District of Tofino
The District of Tofino adopted a BC Energy Step Code policy June 11, 2019 that all new residential buildings will be built to a minimum of Step 1 no later than January 31, 2020. This will increase to Step 2 by January 2021, and Step 3 by January 2022.
- Read the District of Tofino’s Report to Council
- Read Tofino’s draft Step Code Policy approved June 11, 2019
District of West Vancouver
The North Shore municipalities (City and District of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver) have aligned the minimum bylaw requirement for almost all building types, effective July 1, 2018. In support of high-performance buildings, West Vancouver Council has directed staff to bring forward bylaw amendments to remove barriers, and to formalize common deliverables through rezoning into a policy that increases clarity for applicants, staff and the community.
- Learn about the District of West Vancouver’s Building Bylaw amendments
Municipality of North Cowichan
North Cowichan has a two-stage program. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, incentives from $500-1250 will be available depending on the Step of the home (up to $30,000 per year). It will continue to apply to all non-BCBC mandatory requirements. Starting March 1, 2021, all Part 9 residential buildings must achieve a minimum of Step 2.
Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler will require all Part 9 residential buildings to meet Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code effective January 1, 2019. Step 4 of the Energy Step Code will apply to all new Part 9 residential buildings on properties applying for rezoning to increase density or permit additional uses, and any new residential buildings that include construction of additional in-ground basement floor area excluded from gross floor area calculations.
- Visit the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s website to learn more about their approach
Township of Langley
The Township of Langley adopted the BC Energy Step Code for use in new residential construction within the Township, effective January 1, 2019. The approach consists of:
- Applying varying lower-step requirements in different areas of the community based on industry capacity to support market transformation, with an intent to apply harmonized requirements community wide within five years
- Clearly identifying the roadmap for the intended timeline to incrementally adopt lower steps within the community using a gradual transition for the next five years, with an intent to monitor progress during these transitional years before considering progression to adoption of higher steps
- Providing a six-month transition grace period for in-stream projects
- Transitioning the existing Green Building Rebate program by continuing to offer financial incentives for voluntary performance beyond the applicable required level of performance
- Continuing to offer financial incentives to encourage ongoing training and education to support capacity building in industry
- Visit the Township of Langley’s website or read the Report to Council for more details
University of British Columbia
The UBC Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) is UBC’s green building rating system and REAP gold certification is required in UBC’s neighbourhoods. On September 27, 2018, the UBC Board of Governors approved amendments to REAP, requiring new Part 3 residential construction at UBC Point Grey campus to meet a minimum of Step 2 of the BC Energy Step Code. Optional credits within REAP can be obtained for projects that achieve higher steps.
- Visit UBC’s green buildings website
- Learn more about UBC’s Residential Environmental Assessment Program (page 55)
Village of Anmore
On February 19, 2019, the Council of the Village of Anmore approved an amendment to the Village of Anmore Building Bylaw to require compliance with Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code for construction of all new single family dwellings.
- Review the Village of Anmore Builder Advisory Notice for more information
- Visit the Village of Anmore’s website
Village of Belcarra
The Village of Belcarra updated its zoning bylaw based on the recommendations of a Zoning Advisory Committee. The updated bylaw requires all new construction for principal and conditioned accessory buildings built under Part 9 of the BC Building Code to fulfill the requirements of Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code, and for all new construction for principal and conditioned accessory buildings built under Part 3 of the BC Building Code to fulfill the requirements of Step 2 of the BC Energy Step Code. The updated bylaw was adopted by Council in April 2018, with BC Energy Step Code requirements taking effect September 27, 2018.
Village of Pemberton
The Village of Pemberton has set requirements for Part 9 buildings effective January 1, 2020, with higher steps required starting in 2021.
- Read the Village of Pemberton’s Building Bylaw No. 867, 2019
- Visit the Village of Pemberton’s website
City of Vancouver
While not subject to the BC Energy Step Code, the City of Vancouver has its own zero emissions building plan. The Plan has four strategies to require the majority of new buildings to have no operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and all new buildings to have no greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- Learn more about the City of Vancouver’s zero emissions building plan
Page last updated: February 6, 2020.