BC Energy Step Code

What is Step Code?

The BC Energy Step Code is currently an energy efficiency standard in the BC Building Code. The Province of BC has committed to taking incremental steps to increase energy-efficiency requirements in the BC Building Code to make new buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032.  All new buildings must be 20% better than the current building code by December 2022. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is getting ready for this change and is here to help you adapt.

The RDOS engaged communities and industry professionals across the regional district to build knowledge and skills for compliance while minimizing the risk of non-compliance and the cost to consumers. Communities were asked to consider the three options below for implementation,  for which consultation has now closed.

  1. Mandatory compliance with Energy Step Code (lower steps) and associated incentives before it becomes BC Building Code
  2. Voluntary compliance with Energy Step Code and associated incentives before it becomes BC Building Code
  3. Wait for the Province to mandate Step 3 through BC Building Code in December 2022.

Thank you to those that took part in the 2021 Step Code consultation. A RDOS Step Code Policy is currently being drafted to reflect the feedback received.

You will find the following information available on the engagement site www.rdosregionalconnections.ca/step-code under the Documents section:

  • Fact sheets
  • Consumer Guides
  • How to find an Energy Advisor
  • Case studies
  • Planning airtight building playbooks


step code video


Check out the Guide to Step Code Compliance from the RDOS and FortisBC. This video demonstrates specific techniques and strategies on how to build to higher steps of the Step Code, how to run a blower door test, and tips and advice from senior building officials. The video also highlights useful techniques on how to build energy-efficient, beautiful homes in the Okanagan region. The video is broken down into chapters, see times below.

00:00 - Intro
00:34 - Table of Contents
01:39 - Six Basic Strategies
02:26 - Boost Insulation
05:39 - Managing Thermal Bridges
08:24 - Ventilate Smartly
10:35 - Air Barriers & Blower Door Tests
15:22 - Mid-Point Blower Door Test
20:00 - Final Blower Door Test
22:53 - Minding Your Machines
26:18 - Climate Zones
27:43 - Doors & Windows
29:32 - Compliance Timeline
30:33 - Outro

Thank you to the following for their support in this video production:

Evan Phillips, E. Phillips Contracting
Gerry Sawkins, 3West Building Energy Consultants
Fortis BC, for their generous support of this video project.

Mid Construction Blower Door Test Incentive

 Simple process map:

  1. Building permit applicants to be informed of Mid Construction blower door test incentive at first contact with the jurisdiction of RDOS or member municipalities.
  2. The jurisdiction provides the applicant with the Mid construction Blower Door Test Card at application.
  3. Project build starts
  4. Applicant or representative contacts a registered Energy Advisor (EA)  and arranges testing at the agreed time and Mid-Construction point.
  5. Upon completion of Mid Construction blower door test, Energy Advisor and applicant both sign and date the card
  6. The registered Energy advisor provides a report to the applicant
  7. The permit applicant gives final paperwork to the building permit with a copy of the report.
  8. RDOS provides payment to the Energy Advisor upon receipt of the invoice.

Any questions, please contact:

Jeremy Dresner
RDOS Senior Energy Advisor