BC Energy Step Code & Zero Carbon Step Code

The Town is committed to taking steps to increase energy-efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in new buildings by implementing the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code.

BC Energy Step Code

What is BC Energy Step Code?

Through the BC Energy Step Code, the Province has established a series of performance requirements through a set of incremental levels that will increase the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings. The Province has created a goal that all new buildings will be net-zero energy-ready by 2032 through changes to the BC Building Code.

These changes at the provincial level align with View Royal’s commitment to reducing energy use and emissions, identified through the Town’s Official Community Plan, and the Climate Action Strategy.

Town of View Royal Council adopted the following BC Energy Step Code:

Building Code -
Building Type
Energy Step Code Implementation Date
Part 9 - Single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses Step Code 3 January 1, 2023
Part 3 - Other residential and commercial buildings Step Code 2 January 1, 2023

How will BC Energy Step Code be administered?

To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders will use energy software modeling and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the standard. They may use any materials or construction methods to do so.

How-to Process Guides for BC Energy Step Code

Additional Information

Zero Carbon Step Code

The Town’s Community Climate Action Strategy and Community Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Plan prioritizes a low-carbon approach and a reduction in GHG emissions in new buildings. By achieving these policy objectives, the Town is accelerating the implementation of the Province’s Zero Carbon Step Code. 

What is Zero Carbon Step Code?

The BC Zero Carbon Step Code is a new regulation in the BC Building Code that came into effect May 1, 2023, to limit GHG emissions from new buildings, which local governments may voluntarily opt into early.  The Zero Carbon Step Code specifically sets a maximum annual amount of greenhouse gas emissions that each building is allowed to emit. The amount for each building is based on the proposed occupancy and the size of the building. The primary metric that is used is kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per square meter, per year (kg CO2e/m2/year). This differs from the BC Energy Step Code, which regulates the energy efficiency of new buildings.

The Town of View Royal Council adopted the following Zero Carbon Step Code implementation schedule:

Building Code -
Building Type
Level Implementation Date
Part 9 - Houses, duplexes, multiplexes, and townhouses Level 4: Zero Carbon Performance* November 1, 2023
Part 3 - Residential buildings of six-storeys or less Level 4: Zero Carbon Performance* July 1, 2024
Part 3 - Residential buildings greater than six-storeys, and commercial buildings Level 4: Zero Carbon Performance* November 1, 2024
*in most cases, Level 4: Zero Carbon Performance will require the full electrification of a building (i.e. space and water heating, and cooking ranges)

How will Zero Carbon Step Code be administered?

The Zero Carbon Step Code is administered through the building permit process. Applicants for new buildings will have to provide a report from an energy advisor with modelled calculations of GHG emissions based on the building design and its components. This information would be in addition to energy modelling that is already required for Energy Step Code, which is further discussed below. More information on compliance is available at https://energystepcode.ca/.

These changes will not affect existing in-stream building permit applications. However, building permit applications for new buildings received on or after the implementation dates noted above will need to be designed to the new Zero Carbon Step Code requirements.

Additional Information