Zero Carbon Step Code Overview

The new Zero Carbon Step Code focuses on operational carbon emissions performance, and works towards the goal of consistent, province-wide standards using an ever-rising ‘floor’ of minimum standards, similar to the Energy Step Code. It is anticipated that mandatory requirements will be put in place by the provincial governement by 2024 for Part 9 and Part 3 buildings, with increased minimum standards in 2027 and 2030.

The Zero Carbon Step Code concentrates on the de-carbonization of space heating, hot water, and auxiliary equipment. De-carbonization relates to the fuel type or energy source, and can be achieved by providing lower carbon or renewable energy sources in place of higher carbon energy-fed systems.

High-level details of the Zero Carbon Step Code can be seen in the following table:

Carbon Performance Level Building Element to be De-Carbonized
Moderate Space heating
Strong Space heating and hot water
Zero Space heating, hot water, equipment and appliances

The requirement to achieve Zero Carbon Step Code levels will influence equipment and fuel choice for new construction. 

Local governments are permitted to voluntarily opt-in early to the Zero Carbon Step Code, or to pair any level of the Zero Carbon Step Code with either the base energy efficiency requirements of BC Energy Step Code effective at the time, or to exceed requirements.

The content on this page was last updated May 11 2023 at 8:21 AM