ENERGY STAR® – Qualifying Criteria for Domestic Water Heaters Sold in Canada

Effective date of ENERGY STAR water heater specification:
January 1, 2009

According to program requirements, a product must meet all of the identified criteria to be labelled as ENERGY STAR qualified by its manufacturer.

In addition, products subject to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations such as storage tank water heaters, must first meet mandatory requirements of the Regulations before qualifying for ENERGY STAR.


  1. Energy Factor (EF):
    For gas-fired water heaters, Energy Factor is the ratio of energy delivered to the water as compared to the total energy consumed. In Canada, EF is determined by the current versions of CSA P.3 and CSA P.7 test methods.

  2. Net Solar Energy Contribution:
    For solar water heaters, the net solar energy contribution is defined in section 8.7.8 of the CSA F379/Technical Information Letter (TIL) MSE-45

  3. First-Hour Rating (FHR):
    FHR is the amount of hot water in litres a storage water heater can supply in one hour (starting with a tank full of hot water).

  4. Litres per minute (LPM):
    LPM is the amount of hot water in litres per minute that a tankless water heater can supply over a 42.8 Celsius degree rise.

  5. Manufacturer Limited Warranty:
    Manufacturer limited warranty is an assurance by the ENERGY STAR Participant that purchased system equipment and components are warranted for a certain required period-of-time, depending on the technology. The ENERGY STAR Participant is to comply with the warranty requirements as standard for all ENERGY STAR qualified models of a given technology. ENERGY STAR can request the Participant to submit warranty documentation at any time. The exact terms of the limited warranty, given the minimum requirements, shall be determined by the Participant.

2) Qualifying Products

The following domestic water heater product classes would be eligible for ENERGY STAR.

Product Class Type Qualifying language
Storage Gas-fired A nominal input of 75,000 BTU/hour or less and a rated storage volume from 76 to 380 litres. Includes condensing gas storage water heaters.
Storage Heat Pump A maximum current rating of 24 amperes, voltage no greater than 250 volts, and a transfer of thermal energy from one temperature to a higher temperature level for the purpose of heating water. Unit must have "integrated" or "drop-in" configuration.
Tankless Gas-fired A nominal input ranging between 50,000 BTU/hour and 250,000 BTU/hour and a rated storage volume of 7.6 litres or less.
Solar Year round Certification from CSA International to CSA F379/Technical Information Letter (TIL) MSE.45

3) ENERGY STAR Criteria

Only those products listed in Section 2 that meet the criteria below may qualify for ENERGY STAR.

Product category Minimum Efficiency Rating Other Ratings Warranty Efficiency rating test method
(most recent versions)
Gas Storage (Until 2010/8/31) EF ≥ 0.62 First-Hour Rating (FHR) ≥ 254 litres per hour 6 years CSA P.3
Gas Storage (As of 2010/9/1) EF ≥ 0.67 First-Hour Rating (FHR) ≥ 254 litres per hour 6 years CSA P.3
Gas Tankless EF ≥ 0.82 LPM ≥ 9.5 over 42.8°C rise 10 years on heat exchanger and 5 years on parts CSA P.7
Condensing gas storage EF ≥ 0.80 First-Hour Rating (FHR) ≥ 254 litres per hour 8 years CSA P.3
Heat Pump Water Heater EF ≥ 2.0 First-Hour Rating (FHR) ≥ 190 litres per hour 6 years CSA C745
Solar Water Heaters Net solar energy contribution equivalent to ≥ 7.0 GJ/year   10 years for collectors, 6 years for storage tanks, 2 years for controls, and 1 year for piping and parts CSA F379 / T.I.L. MSE-45

4) Test Criteria

For water heaters regulated by Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, those water heaters must be rated and reported to NRCan according to the requirements of the EE Regulations, which includes third party verification of ratings. For product types not subject to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, water heater manufacturers may self-test their equipment in an accredited facility, and rate equipment using a statistically valid procedure such as CSA Plus 1200 and using the appropriate test method as listed above.

5) Effective Date

The effective date of the criteria is January 1, 2009. A manufacturer has one year after signing the ENERGY STAR Administrative Arrangement to ensure that the ENERGY STAR mark appears directly on at least one ENERGY STAR qualified water heater model.

6) Future Criteria Revisions

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the United States Department of Energy reserve the right to change the criteria should technological and/or market changes affect the usefulness of this specification to consumers, industry, or the environment.

7) Labelling Requirements

Manufacturers must sign an ENERGY STAR administrative arrangement for products to qualify for ENERGY STAR. Participants must provide clear and consistent labelling of ENERGY STAR qualified water heaters by displaying the certification mark on the top/front of the product (on product label or a permanent mark), on the manufacturer's Internet site where information about ENERGY STAR qualified models is displayed, and in product literature (including user manuals, specification sheets, and other related information).