Colwood Council has adopted the BC Energy Step Code

Through the BC Energy Step Code, the Province has set performance requirements to increase the energy-efficiency of newly constructed buildings.

BC's goal is that all new buildings be net-zero energy-ready by 2032.

In addition to soon becoming a requirement of the BC Building Code, Step Code goals align with Colwood's commitment to reducing energy use and emissions while making our seaside community more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. More energy efficient buildings also have the potential to significantly reduce homeowner energy costs over time.

Learn more about the BC Energy Step Code at

How will the Step Code be implemented in Colwood?

On November 28, 2022, Colwood Council voted unanimously to adopt "Low Carbon Step Code 3 or 5 for newly constructed homes in Colwood, coming into effect in the summer of 2023. This means new homes being built will likely need to be heated by electricity rather than fossil fuels such as natural gas. Read more at Colwood advances climate goals with clean energy building requirements

Building permit applications are subject to Step Code requirements as shown below: 
(Completed applications received on or after December 1, 2021 are subject to Step Code requirements in section 4.3 of Building Bylaw)

  • July 1, 2023 - Part 9 Residential Step 5 or Step 3 + Low Carbon Energy System*
  • July 1, 2024 - Part 3 Residential Step 4 or Step 3 + Low Carbon Energy System* 
  • July 1, 2024 - Part 3 Commercial Step 3 or Step 2 + Low Carbon Energy System*

* Low Carbon Energy System: the building contains a mechanical system or systems that provide thermal conditioning and domestic hot water for a building primarily from low carbon energy sources such that the total modeled greenhouse gas intensity is no more than 3kg CO2e/m2/year.

How-to process guides for Step Code

BC Energy Compliance Reports - what they are, who they are for and how they can be used
Compliance tools for Part 9 buildings | Energy Step Code
Compliance tools for Part 3 buildings | Energy Step Code

Working with the building community

The City of Colwood began Step Code consultation with builders in 2020. The process was put on pause at the outset of the pandemic.

The City re-engaged the building community in 2021 to provide an opportunity to comment on potential implementation of the BC Energy Step Code in Colwood.

Colwood Council adopted Step 3 for Part 9 buildings/Part 3 wood-framed residential buildings up to six stories and Step 2 for other Part 3 Buildings at their meeting in September, 2021.