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 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.
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.
For Part 9 residential buildings, we are offering several building permit rebates for a limited time (maximum of three per incentive per builder) including:
- $325 for mid-construction airtightness testing
- $500 for builders achieving Step 4
- $1,000 for builders achieving Step 5
FortisBC also 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.
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.
- March 26, 2018: Energy Step Code Implementation Strategy (item 4.1)
- March 26, 2018 Council Minutes (item 4.1)
- August 27, 2018: Energy Step Code Implementation (item 3.21)
- August 27, 2018 Council Minutes (item 3.21)
- May 6, 2019 Council Agenda (item 5.2)
- February 22, 2021 Council Agenda for Energy Step Code Implementation Strategy for Part 3 Buildings (Item 6.3)
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
Energystepcode.ca 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.
The following training sessions related to the Energy Step Code are being offered in our area:
- June 10, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (eligible for 2 CPD points)
Webinar: Best Practices for working with an energy advisor
Hosted by the Community Energy Association, this FREE webinar will help the building industry better understand the "performance pathway" of the BC Energy Step Code and how to get results from working with an energy advisor. Visit their website for further details and to register.
- June 17, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (eligible for 2 CPD points)
Webinar: Introduction to Step Code: Building Enclosure & Airtightness Solutions
Hosted by the Community Energy Association, this FREE webinar provides a visual tour of what the Energy Step Code will look like and the changes needed for success with low-TEDI and airtight building enclosures for both the lower and upper Steps. Visit their website for further details and to register.