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Guide to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations

This guide provides general information about the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Act and the Energy Efficiency Regulations. Please read the Act and the Regulations for details.


Canada's Energy Efficiency Act was passed by Parliament in 1992 and provides for the making and enforcement of regulations concerning minimum energy-performance levels for energy-using products, as well as the labelling of energy-using products and the collection of data on energy use.

All sectors of the economy and individual consumers can contribute to Canada's economic and environmental objectives by using energy more wisely. Not only does energy efficiency create savings for consumers and for industry, but it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which have been linked to climate change. Energy efficiency is therefore a key element of Canada's climate change strategy.

Energy efficiency also has important economic benefits. By saving consumers' money and reducing business operating costs, energy efficiency contributes to Canada's competitiveness in domestic and international markets – which in turn leads to job creation. The energy efficiency industry itself is an important source of jobs and income for Canadians.

The first Energy Efficiency Regulations came into effect in February 1995, following extensive consultations with the provincial governments, affected industries, utilities, environmental groups and others. The Regulations establish energy efficiency standards for a wide range of energy-using products, with the objective of eliminating the least efficient products from the Canadian market. They apply to energy-using products imported into or manufactured in Canada and shipped from one province to another. The Regulations continue to apply to an energy-using product even if that product is merely a component of another product.

The Regulations are administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and are amended on a regular basis to strengthen existing performance standards or to introduce performance standards for new products. This guide provides basic information on the Regulations and amendments in the summary box below. Part One of the guide outlines the administrative requirements of the regulations in terms of reporting requirements, labelling, verification marks and exemptions from the Act. Part Two details the technical and reporting requirements of the Regulations for each type of regulated energy-using product.

This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive explanation of the Act or the Regulations. Complete information about the Act can be found in the Statutes of Canada 1992, Chapter 36. The Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 128, Number 22, November 2, 1994. Copies of the Statutes of Canada and the Canada Gazette are available in most public and university libraries and may be purchased in some bookstores.

Information about the Act and Regulations, as well as other federal energy efficiency initiatives, is also available by visiting the Office of Energy Efficiency's Web site at

The governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia also regulate energy-using products. In some cases, provincial regulations may differ from federal requirements or may apply to other types of energy-using equipment. However, federal regulations do not take precedence over provincial regulations. You should be aware of the requirements of both federal and provincial regulations, where applicable. For information about energy efficiency regulations in the provinces where you do business, write to the provincial department of energy.

Summary of amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations

  • Amendment 1: includes general service fluorescent lamps and general service incandescent reflector lamps
  • Amendment 2: strengthens and clarifies the Regulations as they apply to electric motors and simplifies administrative requirements for motor dealers
  • Amendment 3: introduces minimum energy efficiency standards for 15 energy-using products and increases the existing energy efficiency standard for two products
  • Amendment 4: introduces minimum energy efficiency standards for a number of energy-using products and introduces administrative revisions pertaining to products covered under the EnerGuide labelling program
  • Amendment 5: establishes minimum energy efficiency levels that are identical to those in the United States for refrigerators, combination refrigerator-freezers and freezers
  • Amendment 6: increases the minimum energy-performance standards for ballasts and room air conditioners and establishes minimum energy performance standards for dry-type transformers and incandescent reflector lamps
  • Amendment 7: requires that fireplace efficiency (FE) of vented-gas fireplaces be tested and verified using recently published Canadian Standards Association (CSA) test methods and updates the CSA standard referenced for electric ranges
  • Amendment 8: increases the minimum energy efficiency of clothes washers and gas-fired and electric water heaters; introduces regulations for exit signs and water chillers; and updates test methods for clothes washers, dishwashers and water heaters
  • Amendment 9: updates test methods for central air-conditioners and heat pumps, increases minimum energy efficiency of various air-conditioners and heat pumps, introduces regulations for beverage vending machines and reach-in commercial refrigerators, repeals effective dates for exit signs and fluorescent lamp ballasts and repeals the tap range exemption for dry-type transformers
  • Amendment 10: Published December 24, 2008