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Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations

Regulatory process

Canada's Energy Efficiency Act provides for the making and enforcement of regulations concerning efficiency standards for energy-using products, as well as the labelling of energy-using products and the collection of data on energy use.

The Energy Efficiency Regulations establish energy efficiency standards for a wide range of energy-using products, with the objective of eliminating the least energy-efficient products from the Canadian market. They apply to regulated energy-using products imported into Canada or manufactured in Canada and shipped from one province or territory to another. Changes to the EnerGuide label are also made through amendments to the Regulations.

As part of the regulatory process, Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) consults stakeholders by making public its intentions and providing access to draft proposals. Proposed amendments and important related information are available through this website in the form of bulletins and information is also provided as to how to submit comments. The draft proposal is then pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. This allows for public scrutiny during the official comment period. The proposal is then updated if necessary and proceeds to the final approval and publication in Part II of the Canada Gazette. All public notices relating to pre-publication and publication of the Regulations can be found under Regulation Announcements.

Like all other federal regulations, amending the Energy Efficiency Regulations is done in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on Regulations. A summary of the current Regulations is available on Guide to Regulations.

Act Amendments

In 2017 changes to the Energy Efficiency Act gave the federal government more tools to maintain harmonization with other jurisdictions, like the United States or a province to avoid or reduce unnecessary differences across jurisdictions which can create added burden on businesses.

Ministerial Regulations

  • The Minister has been given the authority to make technical and administrative changes to regulations to maintain harmonization of a specific element with another jurisdiction. This authority aims to reduce the amount of time required to align with changes in another jurisdiction.
  • With Amendment 17, this authority has been enabled for 60 energy-using products listed in section 11.1 of the Regulations. That list will be updated in the future to include all products with requirement(s) aligned with a jurisdiction so that Ministerial Regulations can be used to maintain the alignment of those requirement(s) moving forward.
  • Amending requirements for energy-using products via Ministerial Regulations can be done with single-product small amendments, or multi-product package amendments depending on timing of U.S. requirements and priorities.

Technical Standards Documents

  • The Energy Efficiency Regulations can now incorporate by reference internally developed technical standards documents (article 20.2 of the Energy Efficiency Act) to harmonize with another jurisdiction. This authority is designed to provide an alternative to direct incorporation of another jurisdiction’s regulation or standards developed by a third party.
  • Technical standards documents will be published in both official languages and maintained on Natural Resources Canada’s website. The documents will be managed by the Minister and may include requirements and guidance for testing standards, energy efficiency standards, and/or information requirements. The documents may be modified from time to time.
  • Stakeholders will have the opportunity to view a proposed Technical Standard document and comment on the content and approach when it is proposed to be incorporated by reference in the Regulations via an amendment published in Canada Gazette, Part I. At that time, the document would be made available on the Energy Efficiency Regulatory webpages.

Based on the changes being considered for each energy-using product, and the authorities applicable to each tool, some of the products in the next amendment(s) will follow either a typical Governor in Council (GIC) pathway or make use of the new Ministerial Regulations authority. When an energy-using product is considered for a future amendment, the Forward Regulatory Plan and the technical bulletins would provide specific information about the tool being considered for each product.

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