A pragmatic approach

We have been critical and will likely continue to be so in cases where governments push towards higher energy efficiencies with little regard to cost or installation problems. But at the same time, one often feels for civil servants who on one side are being pushed by politicians who want their jurisdiction to be “the greenest” and on the other side are being advised by the industry that some of these proposals are not practical or even possible. Today, manufacturers and industry associations seem to be working more closely than ever with government.

That has become a top priority. Codes and standards are no longer about simply ensuring that equipment and systems are safe. With the introduction of energy efficiency into codes, they are changing rapidly.

We have been critical of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at times when we felt the push or higher efficiencies was happening too quickly for the industry to keep up with. So, it is appropriate that we also comment when things seem to be going right.

In an article in our March issue (reprinted below), we reported on the update to energy efficiency regulations for gas and oil-fired storage tank water heaters that have been proposed to take effect Jan. 1, 2020. As the industry moves to higher efficiencies and condensing equipment, it appears that NRCan has found a balance between political pressures, industry and building owner needs by limiting the need for condensing equipment to new construction, where it can be planned for and factored into the design and cost.

On the residential side, there was a fear that retrofit gas storage tank water heaters would be required to be condensing and that the ‘sticker shock’ to homeowners would be considerable. However, it now appears that contractors will still be able to install the traditional non-condensing water heaters.

On the commercial side, there is considerable fear that the new regulations would require condensing equipment in retrofit applications. However, NRCan has been working to find a solution that will, in most cases, allow new equipment to use existing venting. The current proposal is for 82 percent thermal efficiency with a standby loss component.

As the editor of this magazine, the ability to publish an article clarifying some of these issues represents a breakthrough. We were able to interview NRCan officials for the article for the first time in several years. Previously, beginning about the time Stephen Harper took office, we had to go through a lengthy process of submitting written questions and waiting for answers that, when they came, often didn’t fully answer the question.

This new openness will help in getting accurate information out to the industry. This along with a co-operative approach to energy efficiency standards can’t help but be a benefit. Or at least reduce the pain!


2020 water heater efficiency hike planned
New energy efficiency requirements being considered for both residential and commercial storage type gas and oil water heaters set to come into effect Jan. 1, 2020 will increase costs as condensing technology becomes the industry standard in new construction...Full Story
Atlantic MEET Show returns
Atlantic Canada’s largest trade show and social event for the industry will return to Moncton in May. MEET – the Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and Technology show – will take place at the Moncton Coliseum May 2-3. By mid-February exhibitor booth sales were ahead of those for the 2016 event at the same time, reported show manager Shawn Murphy...Full Story
AHR Expo breaks attendance records
The AHR Expo has become by far the largest HVAC/R trade show in North America. And when it’s held in Chicago, it’s typically bigger than ever. The 70th anniversary show held at McCormick Place Jan. 22-24 drew 49,995 registered visitors. Add personnel from the 2,155 exhibiting companies and that’s a total attendance of 72,075. Both figures are records...Full Story
Unique boiler/water heater wins recognition
A unique product from IBC boilers was recently chosen as The Most Innovative Product of the Year at the 2018 EnerQuality Awards, held Feb. 22 in Vaughn, Ont...Full Story
Navien celebrates one million condensing units sold
Navien Inc., Irvine, Calif., celebrated the sale of its one millionth condensing unit on Jan. 4. An eco-conscious company focused on energy-saving and highly efficient condensing products, Navien is proud to participate in the reduction of CO2 and NOx in North America and worldwide, said Eric Moffroid, Navien vice president of sales and marketing...Full Story
NRCan cross-country forums promote tighter home technologies
In recent years new homes have become tighter – a lot tighter. Builders and HVAC contractors have been pushing the industry to develop heating and cooling technologies for the lower design heating loads...Full Story
Black stainless
Delta Faucet Canada recently introduced a new Black Stainless finish, anticipated to take kitchens by storm this year...more

Backup pump systems
The highly-advanced Stormcell 442 Series 12-volt backup sump pumps from Liberty Pumps feature professional-grade chargers, an energy efficient DC pump for longer run times and the company’s optional NightEye wireless technology for remote monitoring of the pump system through a tablet or smart phone...more

Steel pipe press system
Viega introduced its MegaPress XL system at the recent AHR Expo in Chicago. It is a press fitting system for 2 ½ to 4-inch diameter carbon steel pipe...more

New Cargo van hoist
The new MAD EasyLoad Hoist from National Fleet Products is designed to be installed in a full-sized cargo van and can lift 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs.). It stores inside vehicles at ceiling height, extending 3.79 feet and gliding up to 8 feet laterally to lift and lower where needed...more


CMPX 2018
March 21 - 23th, 2018

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. Please visit www.cmpxshow.com or call 1-800-282-0003 (long distance) or 416-444-5225 (local).

May 2 - 3rd, 2018

Moncton Coliseum, Moncton, N.B. Please visit www.meetshow.ca or call 506-658-0018.

Canadian Apprenticeship Forum National Apprenticeship Conference
June 10 - 12th, 2018

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal. For more information, call 613-235-4004 or visit www.caf-fca.org.

Current Issue
Plumbing & HVAC!
  • VRF systems provides year-round heating/AC in B.C.
  • New water heater efficiency levels expected in 2020
  • Prefab trend means changes for mechanical systems
  • Buy-sell agreements help ensure orderly succession
March 2016
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