BC Energy Step Code

In April 2017, the Province of British Columbia adopted the BC Energy Step Code as regulation.

What is the BC Energy Step Code?

The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial regulation that local governments may use to incentivize or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.  It provides an incremental approach, representing increasing levels of energy-efficiency performance (steps), and a pathway to ensuring all new buildings province-wide are Net-Zero Energy Ready by 2032. 

For more information on the BC Energy Step Code, including resources for homeowners and builders, compliance tools, and FAQs, visit: www.energystepcode.ca.

What type of buildings does the BC Energy Step Code apply to?

Effective January 31, 2020, the BC Energy Step Code will apply to all new buildings constructed in Tofino that are regulated under "Part 9" and "Part 3" of the BC Building Code, defined as follows:

  • "Part 9" Residential Buildings:      Buildings 3 storeys and under with a footprint of 600 square metres                                                             or less (e.g. houses and duplexes).
  • "Part 3" Residential Buildings:      Buildings above 3 storeys or with a footprint of 600 square metres                                                             or over (e.g. apartments and large office buildings). 

Step 1 will apply to Part "9" and Part "3" residential buildings only. 

Steps 2 and higher will apply to the following types of buildings:  Residential, business and personal services, mercantile, assembly (restaurants, etc.).

When does the BC Energy Step Code come into effect in Tofino?

The District of Tofino adopted a phased approach, as outlined in the Step Code Policy, to allow the building community time to transition to the new BC Building Code requirements. 

The BC Energy Step Code comes into effect in Tofino on January 31, 2020, after which point all Building Permits applications pertaining to buildings regulated by "Part 3" and "Part 9" of the BC Building Code will be required demonstrate compliance with the Steps of the BC Energy Step Code according to the following timeline:

2019      January 31, 2020           January 31, 2021           January 31, 2022     
Voluntary Compliance Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Home Energy Labelling

To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders will be required to provide a Home Energy Label prior to the issuance of an Occupancy Permit.  Home Energy Labels are an informational tool, produced by a trusted and recognized third party, designed to provide consumers with recognizable and comparable information about the modelled energy consumption of the home.  

This label, to be affixed permanently somewhere visible on the home, will give homeowners and potential purchasers detailed information on the home's energy efficiency, and will provide builders the opportunity to showcase their building's performance.     

For more information on Step Code home energy modelling requirements, including how to find an Energy Advisor, visit www.energystepcode.ca.

Step Code Rebate

To help support the transition to the BC Energy Step Code requirements, the District of Tofino is providing a $500 rebate to Building Permit applicants who voluntarily conduct a mid-construction blower door test, and provide the District with a Mid-Construction Verification Report detailing the results of the test.  

A blower door test at mid-construction provides measurable and observational evidence of flaws in a building envelope at a state where it can be remedied, and is an absolutely essential part of adapting to higher efficiency construction.  The rebate of $500 amounts to an approximate 20% reduction to the cost of an average Building Permit.

To apply for the Step Code Rebate, please check the applicable box on the Building Permit Application Checklist and submit it with your completed application package:

For more information or to ask questions about transitioning your project to the BC Energy Step Code standards, please feel free to contact:

Nicholas Henderson
Building Inspector
(E) nhenderson@tofino.ca
(T) 250-725-3229 ext. 702