Marketing Materials for Retailers

Handy Reference Material on Gas Fireplaces

Quick Facts on Gas Fireplaces

The EnerGuide label is well recognized by Canadian consumers as an important tool in assisting them to understand and compare energy efficiency. Now, through an agreement between Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada (HPBAC), there is an industry-managed EnerGuide program for vented gas fireplaces. This program has the support of the Government of Canada, hearth manufacturers and natural gas utilities across the country.

The importance of energy efficiency

With the increased focus of Canadian consumers on both the cost and environmental impacts of energy, the EnerGuide rating for gas fireplaces comes at an opportune time for retailers and contractors who sell the product. Higher-efficiency equipment uses less energy and the savings realized from lower energy use will accumulate over the lifetime of the equipment. As well, using less energy reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Understanding the EnerGuide rating system

The EnerGuide rating system provides consumers with the assurance of a standardized method of testing, allowing them to accurately compare different makes and models. The testing provides a Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating based on products tested and certified to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) test standard P.4.1-02.

All manufacturers and distributors who sell gas fireplaces in Canada are required by federal law to test and certify their units to CSA P.4.1-02 and to report their FE numbers to NRCan.

The standard assesses all gas fireplaces, whether they are decorative units or models used for space heating. It is an accurate measurement that reflects the overall operation of the fireplace, taking into account its use and performance throughout the entire heating season. The FE rating is expressed as a percentage, therefore the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.

In Canada, the FE rating is the only recognized measurement of the efficiency of vented gas fireplaces.

The EnerGuide Label for Gas Fireplaces

The EnerGuide Fireplace Efficiency rating will be found on manufacturers' product literature. The FE will be inserted in an easily identifiable EnerGuide label format and presented in one of two ways depending on whether the product literature lists only a single model or multiple models.

EnerGuide Label for Gas Fireplaces
This EnerGuide label is found in product literature that features a single model. As noted in the rating system explanation above, the higher the percentage the more efficient the model.

This label is featured in product literature where multiple models with different FE ratings are shown. Each model number listed in the literature will identify the EnerGuide FE rating directly beside the model number.

Note that both labels show the statement ’Based on CSA P.4.1-02.’ As explained above, this statement demonstrates that the FE rating is based on the testing method that all gas fireplaces sold in Canada must adhere to.

Being prepared will help you sell

As retailers and contractors across the country know, Canadian consumers are savvier than ever. Canadians have greater access to the Internet than any other citizens in the world, which allows them to come well prepared with questions. Consider the following points as you present your product to consumers.

  • Every make and model has an EnerGuide rating, not just the most efficient ones.
  • Vented gas fireplaces can look good and still be energy-efficient.
  • The EnerGuide label provides a Fireplace Efficiency number where the higher the number means the higher the efficiency.
  • Higher-efficiency equipment uses less energy that results in energy savings. The actual saving depends upon location (both the regional climate and cost of fuel), the efficiency of the vented gas fireplace chosen and the efficiency of the house itself.
  • Ensure that the consumer considers the particular application for the gas fireplace they are shopping for. Are they looking for a decorative appliance or a heating appliance? Is it the right size appliance for the space or are there supplemental ways to help move the heat to other areas of the home? Do they understand the merits of zone heating versus central heating?
  • As expected, there are significantly different ratings for “decorative” versus “heater” appliances. Help the consumer understand how to compare “apples to apples”.