BC Energy Step Code

BC Energy Step Code Logo

BC Energy Step Code Adopted in the Township

After an extensive process of public stakeholder engagement and industry consultation, the Township of Langley has adopted the BC Energy Step Code . Effective January 1, 2019, compliance with the BC Energy Step Code is required for all new building permit applications for residential buildings.

  • Step 1 is required for residential buildings (Part 9 & Part 3) not located within a Development Permit Area requiring either Energy Conservation or reduction of GHG Emissions
  • Step 2 is required for residential buildings (Part 9 & Part 3) located within a Development Permit Area requiring either Energy Conservation or reduction of GHG Emissions
  • Step Code is not required for other (non-residential) building types at this time

The adoption of the Step Code builds on the success of the Township’s voluntary Green Building Rebate Program, established in 2014.  Adopting the Step Code allows the Township to continue to meet goals within the community to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of buildings.  

What is the Step Code?

The Step Code is a new provincial standard that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieve energy efficient construction. The Step Code requires buildings to demonstrate energy efficiency code compliance through:

  1. Building energy modeling
  2. Airtightness testing

This means builders will be required to work with a qualified energy consultant (an Energy Advisor or energy modeler). Projects that use the Step Code must demonstrate compliance with a number of performance targets:

Part 9 Step Code Targets

Step Code - Part 9

Step Code - Part 9

Step Code - Part 9

Part 3 Step Code Targets

Step Code Targets

The Step Code provides local government and industry with a clear framework to make progress towards the provincial goal that all new construction in BC is built “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. The Province defines a net-zero energy ready building as one that has been designed and built to a level of performance, such that it could (with additional measures) generate enough onsite energy to meet its own energy needs. It’s expected that net-zero energy ready buildings will be required by the BC Building Code by 2032.

More information can be found on the BC Energy Step Code website .

Building Permit Application Documents

The following documents are required to as part of all new building permit applications for Step Code projects:

  • Step Code forms:
  • An energy modeling report (typically an EnerGuide report for Part 9 houses) must accompany all building permit applications.
  • The application shall also include energy statements on the drawings indicating that the project complies with the BC Energy Step Code, the climate zone (Climate Zone 4), the specific Step pursued and the required step code target metrics (TEDI, TEUI/MEUI, Airtightness) and the actual values achieved in the model as applicable.
  • Air barrier details shall be shown on the drawings (in red).
  • The updated Letters of Assurance that reference the Step Code shall be used for Part 3 projects.

NOTE: The Township of Langley Step Code Bulletin  provides clarification on Step Code compliance issues such as acceptable approaches to whole building energy modeling for Part 9 multifamily projects modeled in Hot2000.

Part 3 projects to which the Step Code does not apply shall use the Part 3 Design Intent Letter  to demonstrate compliance utilizing either ASHRAE 90.1 or the NECB. For non-residential Part 9 projects, contact the building department for the building permit application requirements.

Available Step Code Incentives

A number of incentives are available for projects that wish to conduct mid-construction blower door testing or design to the upper steps of the Step Code. Information on these incentives can be found below:

Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation

The Township submitted a BC Energy Step Code Notice of Consultation to the Province on November 7, 2017. After engaging the development and construction community in early 2018, a clear path forward for the integration of the Step Code over several years was brought to council and approved as part of the Township of Langley’s Building Bylaw.

Report to Mayor and Council 

Langley Building Bylaw 

BC Energy Step Code Presentations and Webinars

Energy Step Code Demonstration Home Presentations and Videos (Aug. 20-27, 2019)

The Township of Langley presented a series of Energy Step Code Demonstration Home tours and workshops in partnership with Clay Construction, BC Hydro, and City Green.  The goal of these workshops was to demonstrate techniques and training at an active construction site to help the construction industry meet the BC Energy Step Code performance targets.



Airtightness Forum Presentations (Apr. 25, 2019)

In partnership with the City of Surrey, the Township of Langley organized a training forum on airtightness and the BC Energy Step Code.  As airtightness is an essential measure in achieving the BC Energy Stop Code performance targets, local builders and industry experts presented on air barriers and how to achieve Step Code-level airtightness.


For more information, contact the Township’s Community Development Division at 604-533-6018 or cdinfo@tol.ca.