City on Course to Adopt BC Energy Step Code

August 21, 2019

At its Regular Meeting of August 19, 2019, Council supported an updated timeline and engagement process for implementing the BC Energy Step Code (Step Code). Engagement with the building community will commence in Fall 2019 and by Spring 2020, the Step Code will be implemented in Vernon for all single family, two, three and fourplex building, rowhouses and low rise apartments.

“This is an opportunity for the City to show leadership in requiring improved energy performance in new buildings.” says Mayor Victor Cumming. “Council is serious about doing what we can to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas footprint and this is one tool we have to advance this goal.”

The Step Code is a provincially established compliance standard and performance measurement for improved energy efficiency in building construction. It was enacted in 2017 and gives local governments the option to require energy efficient building construction above and beyond the requirements of the existing BC Building Code in advance of its required implementation.

Many communities are phasing in Step Code requirements in advance of this date to ready the development industry and themselves. Locally, Penticton and the District of Lake Country have already implemented for single family residential buildings. The City of Kelowna will implement effective December 1, 2019.

After the engagement with the building community, Administration will make recommendations to amend the City’s Building Bylaw and bring these before Council in late fall 2019.