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Clothes washers

July 2022

Technical bulletin on amending the standards

On April 2, 2022, the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) issued a Notice of Intent which identifies its intention to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to align clothes washers with energy efficiency standards, testing standards, and scope in the United States. In particular, these amendments would align testing standards with the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) recent final test procedure rulemaking and align energy efficiency standards with the U.S. DOE energy conservation standard rulemaking currently underway. The Notice of Intent issued for Canadian Federal requirements indicated that these considered requirements would apply in 2024.

This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for clothes washers.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the next amendments considered. In addition, NRCan will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of these updated standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from their implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in 2023.


In Canada, clothes washers manufactured as of February 3, 1995, are subject to the Regulations.

The efficiency standards for clothes washers save energy and water while reducing overall costs for Canadians. The efficiency standards also reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and encourage manufacturers to adopt efficient product designs.

In 2018, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the United States Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Regarding the Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council was signed to move forward on energy efficiency and foster alignment of federal regulations where feasible and appropriate. In 2021, NRCan and the U.S. DOE signed the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Department of Natural Resources of Canada and the Department of Energy of the United States of America Concerning Cooperation on Energy, which acknowledges that both countries will collaborate on new and updated energy efficiency and testing standards where feasible and appropriate.

On April 13, 2022, the U.S. DOE published a notice of data availability pertaining to energy conservation standards for residential clothes washers (87 FR 21816). Separately, on June 1, 2022, the U.S. DOE published a Federal Register final rule which updated the testing standards for residential and commercial clothes washers (87 FR 33316).

NRCan is considering amending the Regulations to align with the updated testing standards and the scope of the U.S. DOE, and to align with the revised energy efficiency standards currently under development by the U.S. DOE.

The requirements under consideration for clothes washers would also be considered for the clothes washer component of an integrated clothes washer-dryer.

Product description

A clothes washer is defined in the Regulations as an electrically operated clothes washer that does not require mechanical fastening to a floor or wall, is top-loaded or front-loaded, and has an internal control system that regulates the water temperature without the need for user intervention after the machine is set in operation.

The size category of a clothes washer is based on its drum capacity:

  • less than 45 litres (1.6 cubic feet); or
  • 45 litres (1.6 cubic feet) or more.

An integrated clothes washer-dryer is defined in the Regulations as:

  • a household appliance that consists of a clothes washer component and a clothes dryer component located above, below or beside it, that is powered by one power source and that has its control panel located on one of the components; or
  • a combination clothes washer-dryer.

A combination clothes washer-dryer is defined in the Regulations as a household appliance that has:

  • a clothes washer function and clothes dryer function that utilize the same drum;
  • a common control panel for both functions; and
  • one power source.

Testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following testing standards, using ambulatory incorporation by reference:

Energy efficiency standard

NRCan is considering incorporating the energy efficiency standards for clothes washers currently under development by the U.S. DOE, using an ambulatory incorporation by reference. Information about recent and ongoing activities related the U.S. DOE rulemaking for this product category is available online through the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Important dates

These modifications to the Regulations would come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

NRCan is considering applying the updated energy performance and test standards to clothes washers manufactured on or after December 31, 2024.

Labelling requirements

The EnerGuide label would be updated to reflect the considered testing standards. An EnerGuide label must be attached to every new clothes washer sold in Canada.

Size Categories

NRCan is considering removing the size categories described in the Regulations. For the purposes of the EnerGuide label, the size categories would remain in NRCan’s EnerGuide label guidelines that are available and distributed to dealers and manufacturers. This administrative change has no impact on the scope of the Regulations.

Verification requirements

NRCan is not considering any changes for the energy efficiency verification requirements for this product.

These products will continue to carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the energy efficiency standard and that the information to be reported has been verified.

The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification body that operates an energy efficiency certification program for the product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency report

The energy efficiency report required for clothes washers would use the new efficiency metrics from the considered testing standard.

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Import report

There is no change to import reporting.

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with the technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for clothes washers. 

NRCan is interested in getting feedback on the manufacturing date under consideration, namely December 31, 2024, and its:

  • implications for certification bodies;
  • implications for manufacturers; and
  • benefits to Canadians.

It is important to NRCan that we engage the public and stakeholders on amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations. If you are aware of any dealer, manufacturer, importer, retailer, utility provider, small business, consumer group, organization, or representative of a specific group(s) of the population (including, but not limited to, women, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, socio-economic status, residency, housing status, etc.), Indigenous peoples/communities, and/or other person or group that may be interested in participating in the amendment discussion and/or may be negatively impacted by this proposal, please forward them or the representative this bulletin. Please email to be added to the email distribution list (emails are used to notify stakeholders of upcoming amendments, technical bulletins, webinar registrations, and official publication in the Canada Gazette).

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found on the Department’s website.

We welcome your comments by October 31, 2022. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4


All correspondence should contain the following subject line: Bulletin – Clothes washers – Laveuses – July 2022 juillet

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