Residential electric furnaces

April 2017

Technical bulletin on developing the standards

Webinar – April 2017

On April 3, 2017, Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency issued its Forward Regulatory Plan 2017-19 which identifies its intention to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to align residential electric furnace fans with standards in the United States. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for residential electric furnaces.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the Amendment 15 proposal. In addition, NRCan will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best-available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of these new standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from their implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, within approximately two years of this bulletin.

Background

In 2014, the Canada – United States Regulatory Cooperation Council committed to align new and updated energy efficiency standards and test standards for energy-using equipment, to the extent practicable and permitted by law.

Residential electric furnaces are not currently regulated as an energy-using product. On July 3, 2014 the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) issued a final rule which introduced energy conservation standards for residential furnace fans, including fans for electric furnaces.

NRCan is considering aligning the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) with the energy conservation standards, testing standards and manufacturing dates of the U.S. DOE. 

Product description

Residential electric furnaces are those with an input capacity of less than 65.92 kW (225,000 Btu/h), with one or more electric resistance heating elements used to convert electrical energy to heat. In addition to the heating elements, the furnace will have a blower fan to distribute the heated or conditioned air through the house ductwork.

Electric furnaces under consideration can be equipped with an integral evaporator coil, or be designed to be paired with an evaporator coil. Furnaces that are fuel-fired such as oil or wood-burning furnaces, that also have electrical resistance heating elements, are not regulated as electric furnaces.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standard:

Energy performance standard

Minimum energy performance standard being considered for electric furnaces
Product type Fan energy rating (FER) (W/1000 cfm)
Electric furnaces that have an input rate of ≤ 65.92 kW (225,000  Btu/h), and use single-phase electric current FER = 0.044 x Qmax1 + 165

1 Qmax is the airflow, in cubic feet per minute (cfm), at the maximum airflow-control setting.

Important dates

These regulations would come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

NRCan is considering applying the new standards to electric furnaces manufactured on or after July 3, 2019.

Labelling requirements

NRCan is not considering labelling requirements for electric furnaces at this time.

Verification requirements

NRCan would require that electric furnaces carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the MEPS and that information to be reported has been verified.

The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification body that operates an energy efficiency certification program for the product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency report

The energy efficiency report required for residential electric furnaces would include the following information:

  • name of product (i.e. electric furnace)
  • brand name
  • model number
  • name of the manufacturer
  • name of the certification body whose verification mark would be affixed to the product
  • heating input capacity, in kW (Btu/h)
  • airflow, in cfm at maximum airflow control setting, Qmax
  • fan energy rating (FER), in W/1000 cfm

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Import report

A dealer who imports these products into Canada would include the following information on the customs release document:

  • name of product
  • model number
  • brand name
  • address of the dealer importing the product
  • purpose for which the product is being imported (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada without modification; for sale or lease in Canada after modification to comply with energy efficiency standards; or for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada)

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with the technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for residential electric furnaces. 

NRCan is specifically interested in getting feedback on:

  • any special considerations related to electric thermal storage (ETS) furnaces and the fan energy rating (FER) MEPS

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found in the Department’s website.

We welcome your comments by May 19, 2017. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4
E-mail: nrcan.equipment.rncan@canada.ca