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Amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016

This regulatory initiative is part of the 2023-2025 Forward Regulatory Plan.

Enabling Acts

Description

The Government of Canada is committed to improving energy efficiency standards for consumer, commercial, and industrial products to support the Government’s climate change and energy efficiency goals and to reducing regulatory burden through alignment with the United States, provinces, and territories when possible and appropriate. Improving energy efficiency standards and reducing regulatory burden provides both economic and environmental benefits to Canada.

Implemented in 1995 under the Energy Efficiency Act, the Energy Efficiency Regulations are amended regularly to add or update energy efficiency standards, testing standards, or labelling requirements for energy-using products.

Planned Amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations

Between 2023 and 2025, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) plans to follow through with amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations and utilize new regulatory tools intended to facilitate alignment with other jurisdictions (Technical Standards Documents and increase the use of ambulatory incorporation by reference of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations). Please visit the Regulatory Process webpage for more information on these tools – and how NRCan intends to use them.

Based on the changes being considered for each energy-using products, and the authorities available for each tool, some of the products in the next amendments will follow either a standard Governor in Council (GIC) pathway or make use of the new ministerial regulations authority. Please find below the current plan for each pathway, understanding that there might be changes along the way, as the regulatory process progresses.

The next Governor in Council amendment would:

  1. Update or add energy efficiency or testing standards, as described in the technical bulletins released in July 2022, for the following energy-using products:

Updating Currently Regulated Products

  • Room air conditioners
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Central air conditioners (3-phase)
  • Central heat pumps (3-phase)
  • Large air conditioners
  • Large heat pumps
  • Electric water heaters (household)
  • Gas-fired storage water heaters (household)
  • Gas Furnaces (through-the-wall)
  • Oil-fired water heaters (household)
  • General service lamps

Adding New Products

  • Air compressors
  • Pool pumps
  • Showerheads
  • Faucets
  • Line-voltage thermostats

Note that the following energy-using products with a policy of alignment are put forward under one of the pilots to prevent or fix alignment issues with the United States:

  1. Greater use of ambulatory incorporation by reference of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for: Faucets, Showerheads, Air compressors, Large air conditioners, Large heat pumps, Central air conditioners and Central heat pumps.
  2. Incorporate by reference NRCan Technical Standards Documents (TSD) for: Room air conditioners and General service lighting.

The details (content and format) of TSD’s will be made available for comments upon publication in Canada Gazette, Part I.

The next Ministerial Regulations amendment(s) would:

Update specific elements of the regulations to maintain alignment with the United States for the following products:

  • Ceiling fan lighting kits
  • Ice-makers (automatic commercial)
  • Metal halide lamp ballasts
  • Microwave ovens.

NRCan plans to proceed with multiple regulatory packages and to skip Canada Gazette, Part I to publish directly in Canada Gazette, Part II because the proposed changes are administrative in nature, and to ensure that harmonization is maintained and that potential trade impacts are avoided.

Other Plans:

On August 19, 2023, NRCan published an updated Notice in Canada Gazette, Part I, which indicated NRCan’s commitment to update energy efficiency and testing standards of refrigerators and refrigerators-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers. The department plans to align energy efficiency and testing standards with the U.S. and is waiting for the U.S. to finalize their plans.

Future Policy Work Which May or May Not Lead to Regulatory Actions

NRCan has identified the following products as being of interest and will investigate further by launching market studies and/or pre-consultation to determine if there are economically justifiable energy savings to warrant consideration for future regulation:

Currently Regulated Products

  • Gas furnaces (commercial)Footnote 1
  • Oil furnaces (commercial)Footnote 2
  • General service lamps
  • Heat/energy-recovery ventilators
  • Heat pumps (including ground-source, water to water and air to water)
  • Electric water heaters (household)
  • Gas-fired storage water heaters (household)
  • Oil-fired water heaters (household)

New Products

  • Air cleaners
  • Computer room air conditioners
  • Heat pump water heaters (household)
  • Pool heaters
  • Replacement pool pump motors
  • Toilets and urinals
  • Uninterruptible power supplies

NRCan is also investigating the possibility of developing reporting and labelling requirements for fenestration products (windows, doors and skylights).

Finally, NRCan is continuously assessing the potential impacts of updating energy efficiency standards or adding new products to achieve further energy savings and support the Government’s climate change objectives and its commitments to minimize unnecessary regulatory differences within Canada and North America. Future changes will be considered based on potential energy and greenhouse gas savings, economic savings for consumers and businesses, and alignment opportunities with trading partners. This Forward Regulatory Plan will be updated, and stakeholders will be notified, as new products are identified for consideration or as plans are solidified.

Potential Impacts on Canadians, Including Businesses

For proposed amendments, there may be business impacts on manufacturers, importers, and distributors of these products as the amendments will prevent the importation into Canada or shipment across provinces of regulated products that do not meet prescribed efficiency levels for sale or lease. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or the small business lens may apply. Consumers and businesses are expected to save money by purchasing products that are more efficient.

Regulatory Cooperation Efforts (Domestic and International)

The development of regulatory amendments is guided by and consistent with regulatory cooperation agreements designed to minimize regulatory differences within Canada and North American markets. More details about alignment for specific products are provided in technical bulletins published on our website once an amendment launches.

Consultations

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on Regulations, stakeholders have multiple opportunities for input along the regulatory process described below. The approximate timing for the next pre-consultation and pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, is as follows:

  •  Spring 2024: pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I of the next Governor in Council amendment, followed by a 70-day comment period.

The exact date for final publication of each amendment will depend on the number and nature of comments received during the public comment period. Final publications are typically within a year of their initial public comment period. Products described in these updates and the timing of publication are subject to decision-making authorities under the Energy Efficiency Act.

General consultation practices are the following:

  • National Standards System – relevant Canadian standards development committees assembled from stakeholders (including manufacturers, industry associations and other interested groups) provide input, review and vote on changes to testing standards.
  • Bulletins – distribution is targeted to key industry stakeholders, Indigenous partners, federal and provincial stakeholders, and general interest groups who have signed up for our mailing list
  • Workshops/webinars – stakeholders and partners are invited to discuss proposed regulatory requirements, review comments and offer additional input, especially where there are significant issues raised that are best addressed multilaterally. In some cases, bilateral discussions are also held with stakeholders.
  • We are continuously working to improve our consultation tools, practices and processes – please reach out using the email address below if you have any feedback or suggestions.

Further Information

Departmental Contact

Ben Copp
Senior Director, Demand Policy & Analysis Division
Office of Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Technology
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4
equipment-equipement@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive email updates about the Energy Efficiency Regulations

Date first included in Forward Regulatory Plan

Most of the products listed were added to the Forward Regulatory Plan in April 2022, but the page has been updated as plans evolved.

Consult NRCan’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by NRCan
  • further information on NRCan’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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