BC Energy Step Code

Engagement Events:

Provide us with your feedback on a proposed approach for local implementation of the BC Energy Step Code.  Two engagement events are being held, both will include the same presentations and information, therefore you only need attend one:
Event Option 1:
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 5:30PM - 8:00PM
Victoria Conference Centre (Saanich Room)
Event Option 2:
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:30AM - 10:00AM
Cedar Hill Golf Course, Saanich
Register here:  udicapitalregion.ca/events 
This workshop is a free event and eligible for CPD credits - Hear from City of Victoria and District of Saanich staff, as well as experts and local builders on the technical requirements of the proposed approach to the Step Code. This will be followed by a workshop session for questions, discussion and feedback.  
The City of Victoria and District of Saanich are proposing an interim transition period of Step 1 adoption beginning in November 2018 to allow industry time to become familiar with the new process requirements of the Step Code, followed by the adoption of Step 3 in January 2020 for new Part 9 and Part 3 residential and commercial projects. Garden suites/small single family dwellings are proposed to go to Step 2 by January 2020.  A summary of feedback from the first phase of engagement and council reports outlining the proposed approach to Step Code implementation can be found at the following links:


In September, 2017, Council endorsed an approach for staff to engage the building industry and key stakeholders on the opportunities, concerns and potential approach for local implementation of the BC Energy Step Code.  A summary of the feedback can be reviewed here [PDF - 447 KB].

Update on Phase 1 Engagement

Thank you to those who attended the Industry Workshop in November 2017 and provided feedback on the opportunities and potential approach for local implementation of the BC Energy Step Code, including Step levels, timeline and support required.  A summary of the feedback can be reviewed here.

This feedback has been used to inform the development of options for implementation of the Step Code and evaluation criteria by which they have been assessed. This has been used to develop a proposed approach to Step Code Adoption.  Saanich staff are taking an update to Council in January 2018 to seek endorsement to engage industry and key stakeholders on this approach to Step Code adoption.  Should this be approved, staff will proceed with a second phase of industry and key stakeholder engagement in early 2018.

For more information, see our FAQs sheet [PDF - 583 KB].

Get Involved!

Please watch this space for more information on how to get involved.

What is the Provincial BC Energy Step Code?

The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard enacted in April 2017 that establishes progressive performance steps in energy efficiency for new buildings from the current BC Building Code level to net zero energy ready buildings by 2032. It was developed through wide-ranging stakeholder consensus over a two year period through a series of working groups and committees convened by the Building and Safety Standards Branch of the BC Provincial Government.

Find information and resources on the BC Energy Step Code here.

Net Zero Energy Ready Building:

A building built to high energy-efficiency standards such that it could (with additional measures) generate enough onsite energy to meet its own energy needs.

Why do we need a BC Energy Step Code?

Multiple requirements, bylaws and policies exist for building energy efficiency across the province, dependent upon the local government. On December 15, 2017, under section 5 of the Building Act, the current local government bylaws on building energy efficiency will no longer be legally enforceable.  The Building Act will require local governments wishing to set higher energy-efficiency standards than those in the BC Building Code to do so using the Step Code.

The Step Code provides a consistent provincial standard for energy efficiency to replace the wide range of existing policies and programs unique to each local government. It also supports consumer choice by taking a new performance-based approach rather than a prescriptive approach. This allows builders flexibility to develop using all available technologies as the Step Code does not specify how to construct a building, only identifies an energy efficiency target that must be met.

What is the Role of Local Government?

There are many examples of municipalities that have been achieving performance equivalent to steps of Step Code, and will be transitioning their program to formally align with the appropriate tiers. There are also multiple examples of buildings within the region that already achieve energy efficiency standards equivalent to all steps of the BC Energy Step Code.

Buildings represent approximately 30% of our community GHG emissions in Saanich.  The Step Code presents a considerable opportunity for the District of Saanich to make progress on our commitment to a 33% reduction in community GHG emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050 by focusing on improvements to the energy efficiency of new buildings alongside the existing residential retrofit programs that Saanich already supports.

What are the Next Steps?

Saanich staff are working with the Capital Regional District and local municipalities on a program of events aimed at multiple stakeholders starting fall 2017.  A staff report outlining a two phased approach to engagement on the Step Code will be taken to the District of Saanich Council in early fall 2017. 

Additional ways to be engaged will be posted here soon.

Information and Resources

Find out more about the Energy Step Code at the BC Government website or view the following resources:

  • BC Energy Step Code Resources Page including technical information, guides, reports and video training
  • BC Energy Step Code Webinar Series Spring and Summer 2017
    • Webinar 1 - June 20, 2017: How Governments and Industry are Getting Ready for the BC Energy Step Code
    • Webinar 2 - June 27, 2017: A Sneak Peek Inside the BC Energy Step Code Best Practices Guide
    • Webinar 3 - July 11, 2017:Preliminary Insights from the BC Energy Step Code Costing Study 
    • Introductory Webinar on the BC Energy Step Code - February 28, 2017

A Best Practices Guide, Costing Report and Training Schedule are expected to be released by the Energy Step Code Council in early fall 2017 to assist local government and industry in better understanding options for adopting the Step Code.

You can read a summary of the BC Energy Step Code in our information sheet [PDF - 556 KB] here. In future, more information will also be available at energystepcode.ca.