Energy Step Code


*UPDATE* Effective June 1, 2021 builders will be required to at minimum achieve the following steps:

Part 9 Residential Buildings

  • Building permit application filed between Dec. 1, 2019 and May 31, 2021 -  Step 1
  • Building permit application filed on or after June 1, 2021 - Step 3

For a limited time, the City is offering a $325 building permit rebate (maximum 3 per builder) for those builders who complete a mid-construction airtightness test to help with the transition to Step 3.  This test allows builders to correct any air barrier deficiencies before final construction. Check out the "Rebates for New Construction" section to learn about other exciting offers from FortisBC when you build to Step 3 and beyond. 

Part 3 Buildings

  • Phase 1 - June 1, 2021: New development and rezoning applications for Part 3 buildings must indicate their proposed design is able to meet the requirements of the Step that is in place at the time of their building permit application in Phase 2.
  • Phase 2 - January 1, 2022: Part 3 building permit applications will need to demonstrate compliance with the Energy Step Code requirements as outlined in the Implementation Strategy.

The Energy Step Code is a provincial policy that aims to create healthier, more efficient and more comfortable buildings. The Energy Step Code marks an end to the prescriptive approach to achieving energy efficiency in newly constructed buildings. Instead, a building's performance must be proven through whole building energy modeling and on-site airtightness testing. Modeling and testing validates how the design and constructed building meet performance targets associated with each "step." 

Further details and key dates for Energy Step Code implementation in Kelowna are outlined in the "Kelowna Step Code Requirements" section below.

Kelowna Step Code Requirements

Energy Step Code requires builders to use an Energy Advisor or Modeler to review plans, model energy consumption, conduct airtightness testing (i.e. a blower door test), and to verify the building complies with the energy performance of a given step.

Compliance with the Energy Step Code in Kelowna

The ENERGY STEP CODE REQUIREMENTS FOR PART 9 RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS bulletin outlines the submission requirements for building permit applications for Part 9 residential buildings. 

Pre-Build Compliance Report (submitted prior to issuance of Building Permit) and As-Built Compliance Report (submitted prior to issuance of Occupancy Permit) can be accessed at the provincial Energy Step Code Compliance Tools for Part 9 buildings website.  Energy advisors are expected to use the most recent version of the compliance reports.

Step Code for Part 3 buildings does not come into effect until January 1, 2022.  Understanding that most of the development applications received in the latter half of 2021 will not apply for a building permit or begin construction until 2022 or later, rezoning and development applications received after June 1, 2021 (with relevant major occupancy types) will need to demonstrate compliance with Step Code requirements that will be in place at the time of construction.  See the ENERGY STEP CODE REQUIREMENTS FOR PART 3 BUILDINGS bulletin for details on submission requirements.

Rebates for new construction

For Part 9 residential buildings the following building permit rebate is available for a limited time (maximum of three per incentive per builder):

  • $325 for mid-construction airtightness testing

FortisBC offers rebates at each step for Part 9 residential buildings. These rebates range depending on the Step achieved.  Additional rebates are available for appliances and high-efficiency water heaters. Visit Better Homes BC’s webpage for more information and eligibility requirements.

For Part 3 construction, FortisBC offers rebates up to $500,000. Visit the Commercial New Construction Performance Incentives website for details.

Finding an energy advisor

Energy Advisors are third-party consultants who have been registered by service organizations licensed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to deliver NRCan’s EnerGuide Rating System (ERS), ENERGY STAR® for New Homes and R-2000 programs. An Energy Advisor can provide both energy modeling and airtightness testing: the two compliance services needed to demonstrate compliance under the  Energy Step Code for Part 9 buildings.

For a list of licensed Energy Advisors that service the Kelowna area, visit the Better Homes BC  webpage.

Related Council reports
Resources for builders

There are a variety of resources available to help the Kelowna building industry build to the different steps of the Energy Step Code

  • Provincial Energy Step Code resources provides a variety of resources, including training videos, builder guides and links to upcoming training sessions that are being hosted throughout the Province.
  • BC housing builder and design guides
    BC Housing has authored a number of builder and design guides to help the building industry to build to the Step Code.
Upcoming events

The following training sessions related to the Energy Step Code are being offered:

  • January 28 (Delta Grand, Kelowna, 6 CPDs)
    CHBA is hosting this session that is a chance for members of the residential construction industry to get up to date on the education needed to keep them ahead of their competition.  Training sessions include: Integrated Design Process; Step Code Site Supervision; and Building Enclosure Design and Construction.