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 info graphic.
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.
Local Governments 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 * 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 *
- 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*
- 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
Local Governments Referencing the BC Energy Step Code
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 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 New Westminster
At its April 9, 2018 meeting, New Westminster Council endorsed in principle the implementation framework outlined in the report ‘Proposed BC Energy Step Code Requirements for new Part 9 Residential Buildings’ and directed staff to proceed with next steps to support the successful implementation of the BC Energy Step Code. Staff will report back to Council on the outcomes of this process before implementing the BC Energy Step Code.
- Learn about the City of New Westminster’s intended approach
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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. All new residential and commercial buildings must be constructed to Steps 1, 2, 3 or 4 by 2021 following a phased-in approach.
- 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 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
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)
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 19, 2019.