Energy Step Code

What is the Energy Step Code?

The Energy Step Code is currently an optional compliance path in the BC Building Code. It is a performance-based standard that establishes measurable requirements for energy efficiency in construction. To demonstrate compliance, a builder must prove that the building meets or exceeds a set of defined metrics for building envelope, equipment and systems, and air tightness testing.

The adoption of the Energy Step Code system is expected to help reduce community-wide energy use and support the goals of the City’s recently-adopted Climate Adaptation Strategic Plan (PDF) and the upcoming Environmental Sustainability Plan.

The Province of British Columbia's CleanBC report has also indicated that all new construction will be required to be 20% more energy efficient by 2022 and “net zero ready” by 2032.

Staged adoption of the Energy Step Code will give builders and the City of Coquitlam time to work through the challenges associated with changes in building methods, prior to being mandated through the Provincial Building Code.

Energy Step Code Requirements

In an effort to encourage the construction of more energy-efficient buildings in the community, the City of Coquitlam will begin requiring Energy Step Code compliance for most new building permit applications starting in the second half of 2021. 

This means that anyone applying for a building permit will have to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the Energy Step Code.  More information will be provided on this web page as the procedures for Energy Step Code compliance are developed and we would recommend checking here for updates.

Energy Step Code Table

It is anticipated in December 2022, the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) will recommend an increase in Energy Step Code requirements. This recommendation may see a move of small residential developments and large residential combustible developments to Step 3, effective early 2023. 

Towards the end of 2023, City staff will report back to Council on the success of the Energy Step Code requirements and may recommend further increases early 2024. Recommendations will also be guided by the City’s Environmental Sustainability Plan now under preperation as well as ongoing greenhouse gas modelling and tracking, and may be refined over time to reflect future advancements in building technology and industry capacity.

Important Documents