Energy efficiency standards to follow U.S. lead

Friday, March 4, 2016

HVAC manufacturers and distributors are waiting to see if forthcoming Canadian energy efficiency regulations will mirror requirements in the United States. Updated energy performance targets for a range of commercial and residential equipment and lighting products will be the first regulatory amendments since Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed an agreement aimed at harmonizing the two counties’ energy efficiency standards and test procedures for rating equipment efficiency.

A December 2015 release from NRCan indicates the proposed regulations will be posted in the Canada Gazette for public comment in the spring of 2016. “They are aligned with standards in the United States unless there are unique Canadian circumstances,” NRCan states.

Industry organizations on both sides of the border commend the harmonized approach. In a joint submission to NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency earlier this week, the presidents of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), the Canadian Institute of  Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) and the U.S. Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), identified Canadian third-party verification criteria and an earlier proposal to match and rate chillers with specific condensers among problematic discordances with U.S requirements.

“As we are all aware, consistency avoids unnecessary duplication, reduces costs to industry, government and consumers, minimizes trade barriers and improves competitiveness,” wrote Warren Heeley, Ralph Suppa and Steve Yurek.

The work plan for harmonized Canada-U.S. energy efficiency standards is moving forward, building on the DOE’s appliance and equipment standards program, which has updated or issued 40 new standards since 2009. Consultation with industry stakeholder groups will be part of process, along with regular bilateral meetings of government officials and input from Canadian and American technical experts.

“AHRI, CIPH and HRAI would welcome an opportunity to engage collectively with DOE and NRCan to discuss joint working plans,” the organizations’ presidents affirmed. “We look forward to continuing discussions on North American alignment strategies to meet our common objectives.”

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