Gas and Oil-Fired Residential Boilers

July 2017

Technical bulletin on amending the standards

Webinar – September 2017

On March 4, 2017, the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) issued a Notice of Intent to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to adopt more stringent fuel efficiency standards and to introduce maximum standby and off mode power consumption for gas and oil-fired residential boilers. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered.

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 updated standards and 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 Canada, residential gas and oil-fired boilers manufactured as of Dec. 31, 1998 are subject to the Regulations.

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. To this end, NRCan is considering aligning the energy efficiency standards for oil boilers and gas steam boilers, as well as the standby and off-mode electrical consumption of all regulated boilers, with standards coming into force in the United States in 2021.

Through the Pan Canadian Framework, and Energy and Mines Minister’s Conference, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have committed to working together to achieve climate change goals. Through this collaboration, governments agreed that standards for some heating products could, for climatic and market reasons, exceed the stringency of those in the United States. There was also agreement to assess the feasibility and benefits of energy efficiency standards at the ENERGY STAR® level for certain products, including gas and oil-fired residential boilers.

Given that more than 78% of residential gas hot water boiler shipments in Canada exceed the performance level of current and upcoming United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) levels, NRCan is considering exceeding the stringency of the U.S. DOE requirements for residential gas hot water boilers.

NRCan is considering a coming-into-force date of January 15, 2021 for the proposed Amendment 15 MEPS for both gas and oil boilers.

Gas Boilers
A preliminary cost benefit analysis indicates that increasing the MEPS for gas boilers to the ENERGY STAR level of 90% AFUE is economically favourable.

NRCan is therefore considering increasing the MEPS for residential gas hot water boilers to 90% AFUE, and introducing a maximum standby and off-mode electrical consumption requirement of 9W.

NRCan is also considering increasing the MEPS for residential gas steam boilers to 82%, and introducing a maximum standby and off-mode electrical consumption requirement of 8W. This will enable gas steam boilers to continue serving existing hydronic distribution systems, while market and other external forces have proved sufficient in limiting the use of steam boilers to the replacement market only.

Oil-Fired Boilers
The preliminary cost benefit analysis also indicates that harmonizing with the U.S. DOE residential oil boiler standards coming into force in the U.S. in 2021 is economically favourable. To do so, NRCan is considering increasing the MEPS for oil hot water boilers to an AFUE of 86%, while the MEPS for oil steam boilers will increase to an AFUE of 85%.

Also under consideration is introducing maximum standby and off-mode electrical consumption requirements for oil-fired boilers that are aligned with those coming into force in the U.S. in 2021, namely 11W.

Product description

A gas boiler is defined in the Regulations as a boiler that uses propane or natural gas, is intended for application in a low pressure steam, or hot water, central heating system and has an input rate of less than 88 kW (300,000 Btu/h).

An oil-fired boiler is defined in the Regulations as a boiler intended for application in a low pressure steam, or hot water, central heating system, has an input rate of less than 88 kW (300,000 Btu/h), and is

  • exclusively oil-fired; or
  • capable of being fired, at the choice of the user, by either oil or another fuel.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standard for all gas and oil-fired residential boilers:

  • CSA P.2-13Testing method for measuring the annual fuel utilization efficiency of residential gas-fired or oil-fired furnaces and boilers

The CSA testing standards can be ordered from:
CSA Group
Toll free phone: 1-800-463-6727
In Toronto, call 416-747-4044
E-mail: sales@csagroup.org
Website: http://www.shop.csa.ca

Some CSA energy efficiency testing standards are also available at no cost on their website. To access free standards you will first need to create an account to join the CSA Communities of Interest.

Energy performance standard

The proposed MEPS are summarized in the tables below for both gas and oil-fired residential boilers.

Minimum Energy Performance Standards Being Considered for Gas-Fired Residential Boilers (< 88kW), effective Jan. 15, 2021.

Energy-Using Product

Energy Efficiency Standard

Gas boilers that are intended for hot water systems

AFUE ≥ 90%
  • Automatic water temperature control
  • No standing pilot
  • PW, SB, OFF ≤ 9W

Gas boilers that are intended for hot water systems and have tankless domestic water heating coils

AFUE ≥ 90%
  • No standing pilot
  • PW, SB, OFF ≤ 9W

Gas boilers that are intended for low pressure steam systems

AFUE ≥ 82%
  • No standing pilot
  • PW, SB, OFF≤ 8W

1. AFUE is the annual fuel utilization efficiency.
2. PW, SB, OFF is the electrical consumption during standby and off mode, in watts.

Minimum Energy Performance Standards Being Considered for Oil-Fired Residential Boilers (< 88kW), effective Jan. 15, 2021.

Energy-Using Product Energy Efficiency Standard
Oil-fired boilers that are intended for hot water systems AFUE ≥ 86%
  • Automatic water temperature control
  • PW, SB, OFF ≤ 11W

Oil-fired boilers that are intended for hot water systems and have tankless domestic water heating coils

AFUE ≥ 86%
  • PW, SB, OFF ≤ 11W

Oil-fired boilers that are intended for low pressure steam systems

AFUE ≥ 85%
  • PW, SB, OFF ≤ 11W

1. AFUE is the annual fuel utilization efficiency.
2. PW, SB, OFF is the electrical consumption during standby and off mode, in watts.

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 proposed standards to gas and oil-fired residential boilers manufactured on or after January 15, 2021.

Verification requirements

There is no change being considered for the energy efficiency verification requirements for this product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency report

There is no change being considered to the energy efficiency reporting requirements for gas and oil-fired residential boilers.

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. The energy efficiency 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 gas and oil-fired residential boilers. 

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

We welcome your comments by October 16, 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