Ottawa, ON — Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will pre-publish its regulatory proposal for Amendment 17 within the coming months. It plans on amending Canada’s energy efficiency regulations to align single-phase central air conditioners and heat pumps with Department of Energy (DOE) Appendix M1 test standings, which will be coming into force in the United States on Jan. 1, 2023.
When the pre-publication of Amendment 17 has been released in Canada Gazette, Part 1, this will launch an official 70-day comment period for industry stakeholders to provide comments, reports the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) in a press release. Regulatory harmonization has been an initiative the industry has been pushing to government at all levels for quite some time. Any changes to the energy efficiency regulation in Canada will come into force after the date of publication of Canada Gazette, Part 2, following cabinet approval and will be applicable to products manufactured after Jan. 1, 2023.
Previous standard alterations
In Canada, central air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured on or after Feb. 3, 1995, are subject to Canada’s energy efficiency regulations. In 2016, seasonal minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) were updated, and in 2018, average off mode power consumption MEPS were introduced, according to NRCan. These changes aligned with regulatory requirements in the U.S.
In 2017, the U.S. DOE published a Federal Register of the direct final rule to central air conditioners and heat pumps for energy conservation standards, which introduced new test standards and performance metrics and created more stringent MEPS for single package and split systems. This new requirement will apply to products manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2023. NRCan is considering amending its regulations to align with these test standards as part of Amendment 17.
Additionally, NRCan is considering making the optional -15C test point in the U.S. DOE test procedure mandatory in Canada to “better reflect operating conditions in Canada,” reports NRCan. MEPS requirement would be aligned with the U.S. DOE and would incorporate the -15C test point to account for Canadian climatic conditions and be reported for Climate Region V, which differs from the climate region IV used in the U.S.
“NRCan is seeking these adjustments to the regulations because it wants to assure Canadian consumers that products will function reliably in cold climate conditions,” explains HRAI. “While members understand and appreciate that position, they believe what NRCan is asking for will impose unnecessary cost and compliance burdens on industry and hinder consumer choice in the market.”
In 2010, the U.S. DOE removed its through-the-wall (TTW) air conditioner and heat pump subcategory. This product class exists only for products manufactured prior to Jan. 23, 2010. With the new Amendment coming to Canada, NRCan is considering amending the regulations to sunset TTW product class. This means that products that were defined as TTW would now be considered as space-constrained products and comply with standards associated with this sub-class.