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Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations

Mercury vapour lamp ballasts
Bulletin on Developing Standards
July 2010

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is proposing to amend Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to include high intensity discharge, mercury vapour (MV) lamp ballasts. Dealers of regulated MV lamp ballasts imported or manufactured in Canada and shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease, are required to comply with minimum energy performance standards and other regulatory requirements.

The purpose of this document is to provide stakeholders with background information on the content of the proposed amendment so that they can submit comments.

This bulletin attempts to put the proposed amendment in plain language. The proposed legal text of the amendment will be prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I.


Canada’s current Energy Efficiency Regulations do not include MV lamp ballasts, nor has the energy efficiency of these ballasts been previously regulated at the federal level in Canada.

On August 8, 2005, US Energy Policy Act (EPAct 2005) was signed into law. This act banned the manufacture and import of mercury vapour lamp ballasts after January 1, 2008. In December 2007, the US Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007) was signed into law. EISA 2007 amended the definition and allowed certain exclusions to the regulation.

The advancement of technology has made more efficient alternatives available such as high pressure sodium and metal halide. Harmonizing with the US on these regulations will benefit both the economy and the environment and help Canada to meet its energy efficiency goals. Harmonization also eliminates the potential of manufacturers selling products in Canada that they could not otherwise sell in the U.S.

Product Description

For the purpose of this bulletin, "MV lamp ballasts" are defined as follows (please refer to the standard CSA C863-04 for technical definitions):

"Mercury vapour lamp ballast" means a device that is marketed for use in general illumination and designed to start and operate mercury vapour lamps by providing the necessary voltage and current, but does not include ballasts that are designed and marketed for operation of mercury vapour lamps used in:

  1. quality inspection;
  2. industrial processing; or
  3. scientific use, including fluorescent microscopy and ultraviolet curing.

Energy Performance Test Procedure

The Canadian Standards Association standard C863-04, Energy efficiency of high-intensity discharge (HID) and low-pressure sodium (LPS) lamp ballasts, is the test procedure for MV lamp ballasts prescribed under the proposed regulation.

The standard can be ordered from:

Canadian Standards Association
5060 Spectrum Way, Suite 100
Mississauga, ON L4W 5N6
Tel.: 1 800 463-6727
In Toronto, call (416) 747-4000.
Web site:

Energy Performance Standard

NRCan is proposing to regulate mercury vapour lamp ballast by adopting the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) as listed in Table 1.

Table 1 Proposed MEPS for MV lamp ballasts

Minimum ballast efficiency for mercury vapour ballasts.
Ballasts type Lamp rated wattage Minimum rated ballast efficiency, %
Magnetic All wattages 95
Electronic All wattages 95

Effective Date

NRCan proposes that these Regulations apply to those products manufactured on or after January 1, 2011.

Verification Requirements

The Energy Efficiency Regulations will require that MV lamp ballasts bear an energy efficiency verification mark indicating that the energy performance of the product has been verified and complies with the appropriate energy performance standard. To bear an energy performance verification mark, it must be authorized by a Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited certification body that is recognized for an energy efficiency performance verification program for this product.

Energy Efficiency Reports

The energy efficiency report (as per the Regulations) required for this lighting product will include the following information:

  • type of product (i.e. MV lamp ballast);
  • brand name;
  • model number;
  • manufacturer;
  • name of the organization or province that carried out the ballast verification and authorized the verification mark that will be affixed to the ballast;
  • ballast efficacy factor;
  • with which type of MV lamp the product is designed to operate;
  • number of MV lamps the ballast is designed to operate;
  • for which of the following ballast input voltages the product is designed:
    1. 120 volts;
    2. 277 volts; or
    3. 347 volts.

For all products this energy efficiency report must be submitted by the dealer to Natural Resources Canada before the product is imported to Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Importing Reports

NRCan does not propose any changes to the importing requirements currently in place, that is:

Dealers/importers must provide the following information on import documents or via electronic transmissions:

  • name of product (e.g. mercury vapour lamp pulse start ballast)
  • model number
  • brand name (if any)
  • address of the importer
  • purpose of the importation (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada; for modification; for export)

More information on the current verification, reporting and importing requirements is available in the Guide to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations.


NRCan attempts, where appropriate, to harmonize with other regulatory agencies. The proposed MEPS in this bulletin attempts to harmonize with regulations that came into effect in the US January 1, 2008 as outlined in the provisions of ENERGY POLICY Act 2005.

Comments Invited

The information in the Bulletin is being issued in advance of prepublication in the Canada Gazette Part Ifor concerned parties to provide advance comment on the proposal. All correspondence should be forwarded to the following address:

Pierrette LeBlanc
Senior Standards Engineer
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E4
Tel.: (613) 947-1503
Fax: (613) 947-4121