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Business: Residential

Consumer Electronics

When Canadians want to save energy and money and help the environment, they look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol to identify energy-efficient products.

Did you know?
Most home electronics continue to use energy even when they are turned off. In "standby mode," a standard TV uses as much as 12 watts of power. An ENERGY STAR qualified TV consumes only up to 3 watts of power on standby.

Consumer electronic products such as TVs and VCRs are common in most Canadian households, where they can account for a significant portion of a home's energy consumption. Even when they are turned off, most of these devices continue to use energy to run clocks, maintain channel memory or store programmed commands (this is called "standby mode"). While some energy is needed to operate these features, much is simply wasted. To minimize standby energy consumption and costs, consumers need only to look for products that bear the ENERGY STAR symbol.

ENERGY STAR is the symbol for energy efficiency for many products in Canada and the United States. A consumer electronic product that qualifies for the ENERGY STAR symbol saves consumers money because it uses less energy in standby mode than a conventional product while offering the same or better performance. From an environmental perspective, improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

How Do Consumer Electronics Qualify for the ENERGY STAR Symbol?

In Canada, the ENERGY STAR symbol can be used to promote the sale of qualifying models of four types of consumer electronics: TVs, VCRs, DVD players and audio products. The technical specifications are the same for Canada and the United States.

To qualify:

  • TVs must consume no more than three watts of power when turned off. This represents an energy savings of up to 75 percent compared with conventional models, which consume as much as 12 watts in standby mode.
  • VCRs must consume no more than four watts of power when turned off -- an energy savings of up to 70 percent compared with conventional models, which consume as much as 13 watts in standby mode.
  • TV-VCR combinations must consume no more than six watts of power when turned off -- an energy savings of up to 70 percent compared with conventional models, which consume as much as 20 watts in standby mode.
  • DVD players must consume no more than three watts of power when turned off -- an energy savings of up to 75 percent compared with conventional models, which consume as much as 10 watts in standby mode.
  • Audio products (cassette decks, CD players/changers, clock radios, equalizers, laser disc players, mini and midi systems, mini disc players, powered speakers, rack systems, stereo amplifiers and preamplifiers, stereo receivers, table radios and tuners) must consume no more than two watts of power when turned off. Some conventional products now consume up to 70 percent more energy than this standard when turned off.

Manufacturers of consumer electronics who are not already enrolled in the ENERGY STAR program in the United States and who wish to use the ENERGY STAR symbol in Canada must sign an administrative arrangement with Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan's) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) and certify that the product or products to be labelled meet ENERGY STAR specifications. Manufacturers of ENERGY STAR labelled products that qualify in Canada and those who are enrolled in the U.S. ENERGY STAR program must supply NRCan with a Canadian contact if they wish to benefit from NRCan's marketing and promotional activities.

Availability of ENERGY STAR Labelled Consumer Electronics

The OEE promotes the international ENERGY STAR symbol in Canada and monitors its use. Major manufacturers and retailers of energy-efficient products, utilities and energy retailers, all levels of government, and interest groups recognize the benefits of ENERGY STAR to consumers. From Australia to Europe, they have joined in promoting the symbol.

Canada's ENERGY STAR initiative is expected to result in increased demand for, and availability of, ENERGY STAR labelled TVs, VCRs, DVD players and audio products across Canada.