Energy Consumption of Major Household Appliances Shipped in Canada, Trends for 1990-2017

Energy Consumption of Major Household Appliances Shipped in Canada, photo of appliances
Note:
  • On June 28, 2017, a suite of amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations came into force, which relate to major household appliances. Through these amendments, testing procedures for measuring energy efficiency were updated to better reflect usage patterns in homes and to more accurately represent the real world energy use of these products.

    For example, for refrigerators and freezers, test procedures were modified to better capture the energy used by defrost cycles, a common feature for these products. The dishwasher test procedure was modified to better account for energy use in standby and off modes.

    Any major household appliances tested prior to these amendments would not include these new procedures, which could lead to differences in measured ratings. As a result, energy consumption figures for 2017 are not directly comparable to previous years’ data.

Shipment data for the six major household appliances

Photo of appliances

Key facts

  • An average set of major appliances1 consumed 2,340 kilowatt-hours per year (kWh/yr) in 2017. That set of appliances consumed roughly half as much in 2016 as a 1990 set.
  • In 2017, 65% of shipped refrigerators, 94% of shipped dishwashers, 63% of shipped clothes washers and 29% of shipped electric clothes dryers were ENERGY STAR® certified.
  • In 2017, the estimated annual energy consumption of all appliances shipped was 97 PJ. Between 1992 (the year when the Energy Efficiency Act came into force) and 2016, the estimated energy consumption from all shipped appliances decreased by 93 PJ. This decrease between 1992 to 2016 is equivalent to one year's energy for about 850,000 households in 2016.2

Learn more about the improvement in energy consumption

Energy efficiency improvements can be attributed to a variety of factors, including:
  • consumer demand energy-efficient products
  • more stringent energy performance standards
  • research and development by manufacturers
  • EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR® initiatives in Canada


  1. A set includes refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, electric ranges, clothes washers and electric clothes dryers.
  2. Natural Resources Canada, Comprehensive Energy Use Database, 1990–2016, Residential Sector, Canada, Table 1.