The BC Energy Step Code

With buildings accounting for one third of energy use in British Columbia, 12% of the province’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, and a projection that building floor area will double by 2050; curbing the impact that our buildings have on the environment is critical.

What does it mean for commercial real estate?

As high-performance designs, materials, and systems become increasingly available and cost-effective, the building industry will integrate new techniques into all new buildings.

– The Province of British Columbia

The BC Energy Step Code was introduced to assist with British Columbia’s green ambitions, bringing consistency to the direction and speed of the province’s energy efficiency evolution. By focusing on construction and design the Code will reduce GHG emissions, heating and ventilation costs, energy bills, and improve comfort and health.

What are the Code categories?

Local governments are getting involved by either mandating or incentivising designers and builders to meet one or more steps depending on the following categories:

  1. Buildings and homes at or under three storeys with a building area under 600 m2;
  2. Buildings of four storeys or greater with a building area over 600 m2.

Each category comes with its own set of compliance steps representing levels of energy efficiencies to be integrated into the BC Building Code as minimum standards for new constructions over time. This process it’s hoped, will ensure a consistent transition to more energy efficient communities.

What’s our perspective on the Code?

Greening our buildings, improving the efficiency and energy consumption of their mechanical systems, and integrating renewables infrastructure will be key drivers for reducing the environmental impact of our growing cityscapes.

BC municipalities have a brand-new tool in their energy efficiency toolbox. We’re encouraging partners, clients and our peers to learn more about the Step Code and ensure the Province’s energy efficiency efforts are fairly implemented and achieve real world results. By working together we will make our buildings healthier, more comfortable and more affordable to heat.

Hart Starr Crawford, General Manager, Fēnix Energy

What’s the timeline?

To learn more about the goals of the BC Energy Step Code, and the timeline to net-zero-ready buildings click to download our full-size infographic.

Learn more

Interested to find out about the benefits and payback of harnessing the thermal energy of your buildings? Contact us:


Insights courtesy of – How the BC Energy Step Code Works, Pembina InstituteB.C. municipalities ready to step up for better homes and buildings, Costs vs Savings, Columbia Institute – This Green House II – Green Jobs… Climate Action…Energy Retrofits Across Canada, Wikipedia – Zero-energy Building, BC Housing – Energy Step Code 2017 Metrics Research – Summary Report, – British Columbia Building Performance Study.


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