Winter 2016 - ENERGY STAR Newsletter


ENERGY STAR® News/Nouvelles

In this issue…

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Message from ENERGY STAR Canada

Partner? Participant? Or both?

Energy Star

I often get asked what the difference is between an ENERGY STAR Partner and an ENERGY STAR Participant. It’s not a silly question, but the answer seems to surprise some – “not much”.

An ENERGY STAR Participant has signed an agreement with us here at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) committing to promote the program in Canada. A Partner, on the other hand, has signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote the ENERGY STAR Program in the U.S.

Participants have their own account manager to help with things like marketing and branding, compliance, labelling, and networking within Canada. Partners have the same thing in the U.S.

A little-known fact is that it benefits manufacturers or brand owners to become both. Canadian Participants who manufacture (or rebrand) products for sale in Canada are required to sign a Partner agreement with the EPA, in order to obtain a partner number which allows them to list their products on the shared Canada/U.S. Product Finder. (Fenestration and HRV/ERV manufacturers are exempt.)

We encourage and welcome manufacturers and retailers who are U.S. ENERGY STAR Partners to also become Participants in Canada when they have cross-border products or stores. As Participants they have access to shared promotions in Canada as well as networking and learning events, and recognition opportunities, such as the ENERGY STAR Canada Awards.

Joint membership is particularly important when it comes to promotions: Participants in Canada have access to bilingual information, logos, and promotional materials that we provide, as well as Canadian facts and figures. They can partner with Canadian retailers and utilities to amplify their messaging, and share information via their account managers here at NRCan.

Not a Participant yet? We’d love to welcome you into our Canadian family. If you are unsure about your status as an ENERGY STAR Participant in Canada or would like to sign up, all it takes is a quick call or email – our account managers are all listed at the end of this newsletter (as am I). Looking forward to hearing from you!

Dianna Miller
Chief, ENERGY STAR Initiative in Canada

Energy efficiency news

2016 ENERGY STAR Canada Awards now open for submissions!

ENERGY STAR Participants in Canada deserve recognition for their excellence in promoting the most energy-efficient products and new homes in Canada—and our awards do just that!

Apply today! We’ve simplified the application process and streamlined the application forms. Just request an application form by email, save it to your computer so you can complete it at your own pace, and send it back by email with your supporting material. (Supporting material can also be sent by courier on a USB stick or CD.)

You’ll notice a few other changes, too:

  • Product Brand Owners are now eligible for Manufacturer awards.
  • There is a new award for Best Use of Social Media.
  • Three new awards have been added in the New Homes category—Builder Recruit, Partner or Participant, and Showroom.

Read all about it on our website.

And don’t delay—the deadline for submissions is February 29, 2016.

Take a look at the accomplishments of the 2015 winners!

Heads up! We’re updating our stakeholder database.

The Equipment Division at the Office of Energy Efficiency, including the ENERGY STAR team, will be reaching out to all of its contacts early in the New Year. The objective is to update our revamped contact database with the most accurate information about you. We also want to make sure you receive information about topics that interest you.

The Energy Smart Show—new consumer expo in Toronto

The Energy Smart Show is debuting in Toronto, May 14–15, 2016 to help meet the growing demand for energy efficiency education, energy smart products and services, emerging technologies, and the availability of government programs and incentives.

Energy Smart Show

Organizers have positioned the show as Canada’s pre-eminent event for energy conscious consumers and an influential platform for product developers, researchers, educators, manufacturers, government programs and services and more.

Show attendees are expected to be home and condo owners and renters, small businesses, and cottage owners, who are interested in energy efficiency and want to know more. Attendee demographics represent a wide age range, from late 20s to seniors, and across socio-economic lines.

The Show is planned as an annual consumer event in its Toronto location at the International Centre, which is a LEED sustainable building. Organizers will also take the show to other Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

For more information, including how to participate, visit

What’s in a name? CEA becomes CTA

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® has changed its name, becoming the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM effective November 10, 2015.

This trade association represents the $285-billion U.S. consumer technology industry. Its members consist of more than 2,200 companies—80 percent are small businesses and startups while others are among the world’s largest companies. Many are multinationals trading not only in the U.S., but in Canada and around the world.

CTA owns and produces CES® (the Consumer Electronics Show) which is recognized as the world’s gathering place for those interested in the business of consumer technology. Attendance at the 2015 International CES reached a record 176,676 industry professionals with 48,833 coming from outside of the U.S.

The name change reflects the rapidly evolving nature of the consumer electronics industry. In a message to members, association president and CEO Gary Shapiro said “. . .the name Consumer Electronics Association no longer fits. The word ‘electronics’ is limiting and does not capture all the innovation swirling around wireless, the Internet, automobiles, health and the new economy. The word ‘technology’ better defines what we have become and who we represent.”

See more details about the name change and the CTA.

Only Certification Bodies to submit window and door data

On June 16, 2003, Centennial Windows sent the first data to the fledgling ENERGY STAR Canada window and door program. The submission consisted of a grand total of six CSA certified window models and launched the new program. We now receive over 1,200 data submissions every year and information about hundreds of thousands of models of windows, doors and skylights from nearly 400 Participants or their agents (consultants, testing and simulation labs, window system providers). Today there are more than 3 million active models in the database and over 7 million active and archived models all together.

Needless to say, the reviewing and processing of all this data coming from multiple sources has become a major challenge for maintaining the data’s accuracy and keeping it up to date. That is why a new requirement to accept data submissions only from certification bodies (CBs) is being phased in by NRCan. It is expected that, under the new policy, manufacturers (or their agents) will continue to prepare data submissions just as they are doing now. However, the submission forms will be sent to their energy performance CB or one of the NFRC Inspection Agencies (IAs) for review. They will, in turn, submit the reviewed data to NRCan.

The three Canadian CBs (CSA, Intertek and QAI) are already submitting to NRCan on behalf of their clients and the NFRC Inspection Agency, Keystone Certifications, is now reviewing and submitting data to NRCan that is prepared by an industry consultant. Consultations are underway with all four NFRC IAs to fully implement this policy by the deadline of September 1, 2016.

TopTen USA legacy captured in final report

Energy Star

ENERGY STAR Canada salutes TopTen USA for their efforts over the past five years to help North Americans identify and purchase super-efficient products. TopTen USA brought ideas from around the world to the North American context. North Americans can look to programs such as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient and the Consortium of Energy Efficiency to carry on the success. 


Looking for inspiration for your next ENERGY STAR campaign or a way to break up your work day? Check out these video “Avoid Energy Drama” public service announcements from Michigan Saves.

Public service announcement video produced by Michigan Saves, Avoid Energy Drama

Special Feature

Video consoles – not all fun and games energy-wise

By Liz Westbrook-Trenholm
Electronics Account Manager, ENERGY STAR Canada

Video game consoles are common devices in our homes – 48 percent of Canadian households have at least one. Along with the other 35 to 60 devices we use to play, chat, work, and live, game consoles and their peripherals draw their share of electricity.

Some game console types use relatively low amounts of power, including portable all-in-one handheld consoles, micro consoles that connect to televisions to play Android-application store video games, and self-contained, dedicated consoles that operate games loaded from interchangeable cartridges or discs.

However, video game consoles that hook up to televisions or monitors and use external controllers are generally less energy-wise, according to a recent study* commissioned from ICF International by NRCan. Average energy consumption for products such as Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation and Wii range from 8 Kwh up to 167.5 Kwh. Newer generation devices tend to draw the most energy to support the improved play experience and features such as voice activation, instant-on and network capability. The increasing use of consoles to stream video content also adds to overall energy consumption.

Energy use per capita for video consoles may not seem much but the accumulated consumption across the country adds up. With estimated stock of almost eight million consoles in Canadian homes, the ICF report calculates annual national consumption at more than 470,000 Mwh. That’s the equivalent of the average electricity used in over 42,000 households every year.

It is estimated that Canadians use their game consoles for only 372 hours per year. How, then, can they consume so much energy? Answer: idle game consoles with only the displays turned off continue to draw full power. Fortunately, 90 percent of users do switch their consoles fully off when not in use, but the remaining 10 percent are not only left on but for twice as many hours as all the others combined.
There is hope on the horizon. Game consoles could be more energy efficient. Scaling down semiconductors, improving power supplies and disconnecting the network function on standby could all save energy. In fact, a 2013 ICF study of current generation consoles showed the potential to reduce consumption by up to 90 percent by 2020, provided manufacturers are willing.

Some movement has already occurred. ENERGY STAR, with the cooperation of the small number of manufacturers that make game consoles, has developed criteria to recognize more energy-efficient video game consoles. The program recognizes game consoles that power down when not in use and those that play and stream media content in a power-wise manner. Manufacturers are beginning to consider energy efficiency in their designs: Xbox One and PlayStation 4 allow users to manually turn off the network connected standby mode, while the Nintendo Wii U, already a low user of electricity, is designed to draw less than half a watt in connected standby.

Meanwhile, consumers can help by turning their consoles off, right off, when they’ve finished playing.

*Technology Analysis Report for Game Consoles, ICF International, November 13, 2015 submitted to Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada. Available on request from Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, or Augustine Orumewense,

Participants at work

To get your ENERGY STAR activities featured in the newsletter, email us.

Participant utilities win at 2015 E Source Forum!

On October 16, 2015, at the 2015 E Source Forum in Denver, Colorado, E Source announced the winners of the 2015 Utility Ad Awards Contest.

The ENERGY STAR team congratulates the following six Canadian utilities that have won an award:

  • Hydro One Networks Inc. - Best Overall Campaign for Non-Investor-Owned Utility
  • Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited - Best Residential Print Ad
  • BC Hydro Power Smart - Best Business Print Ad
  • Union Gas Limited – Second Best Digital Ad
  • Newfoundland Power together with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro—the Crowd-Pleaser award. (Facebook users voted by “liking” their favorite print advertisement on the E Source Facebook page.)
Newfoundland Power, Newfoundland Hydro and Labrador Hydro`s print advertisement—the Crowd-Pleaser award

The 2015 Utility Ad Awards Contest was open to U.S. and Canadian electric and gas utilities. An independent group of judges selected the winners based on message, creativity, results, call to action or brand connection, and overall impression. E Source received more than 500 ads from 55 utilities this year. Kym Wootton, vice president of Marketing at E Source, was very impressed and encouraged to see the new ways utility marketers are trying to connect with their customers. The ads can be viewed at

About E Source

For 26 years, E Source has been providing research, consulting, and market research to more than 300 utilities and their partners. Their guidance helps their customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

Dalhousie University – a strong ENERGY STAR supporter!

By Rochelle Owen
Office of Sustainability, Dalhousie University

Buying ENERGY STAR certified products and equipment is a ‘no-brainer’ at Dalhousie University. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the university’s Procurement Policy and ENERGY STAR is built right into Dal’s Sustainable Procurement Checklist for employees. The checklist is a handy guide when using a purchasing card, obtaining quotes, or working on requests for proposal, contracts and other tender documents. A copy of the checklist can be sent directly to potential vendors who want to do business with the university. But procurement is just the beginning of Dal’s ENERGY STAR-related activities.

Energy Star

Dalhousie was the first university to join ENERGY STAR Canada, in 2009; it earned the ENERGY STAR Participant of the Year award in 2011. ENERGY STAR initiatives have taken place on the university’s four campuses— three in Halifax, NS and one in Bible Hill, NS.

ENERGY STAR is promoted at lectures, events, and publications through educational tools such as the Campus Green guide, Sustainability Jeopardy, and information to individual purchasers.

Student class projects have been used to explore student understanding of ENERGY STAR labelling and options in residences and in kitchen equipment. Student interns and staff at the university’s Office of Sustainability use ENERGY STAR publications, calculators, websites, product listings, and technical guides regularly to assess current equipment/appliances for performance, for future procurement, and for compliance. Detailed technical reports are created by the Office of Sustainability to help support business cases for upgrades.

Partnerships have been formed between the Office of Sustainability and a number of key university departments such as Ancillary Services (Housing and Conference Services), Facilities Management, Information Technology Services, and Procurement. With the support and commitment from leaders in these departments a number of significant projects have been implemented including:

  • Upgrades to ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers, numerous pieces of commercial kitchen equipment, vending machines, lights, and heat pumps throughout residence properties.
  • Purchase of ENERGY STAR certified electronics, including computers and audio-visual equipment.
  • Participation of staff in ENERGY STAR information sessions, Train-the-Trainer workshops and the Employee Sustainability Leadership Program that includes information on sustainable procurement and ENERGY STAR.
  • Installation of ENERGY STAR certified heat pumps, gas furnaces for some residential house offices, lighting, and building products through Facilities Management projects.

With the support of partners like EfficiencyOne (the new franchise holder of Energy Efficiency Nova Scotia), a major refrigerator/freezer program was implemented on all four university campuses, switching out older fridges and freezers of a certain age and energy performance to ENERGY STAR certified models. This program resulted in net annual savings of 373,565 kWh, $41,000 in energy costs and a reduction of 305 tonnes in greenhouse gases. Recently ENERGY STAR heat pumps were installed at some of the residential home offices at the Agriculture campus to offset oil use for heating.

The university continues to invest in many energy efficiency programs to support energy security, climate, air quality, and economic goals. Future programming efforts will see minor and major building upgrades, new green building initiatives, and behavioural initiatives. ENERGY STAR applications are peppered throughout these activities.

The ENERGY STAR logo is easy to recognize and can be a convenient way for on-campus and off-campus purchases to choose an energy efficient product. Some of the specific future ENERGY STAR focuses include:

  • providing feedback and support for additional products to be added to the ENERGY STAR program such as laboratory equipment and commercial windows
  • supporting more training and development for university purchasers
  • creating a network of sustainable purchasing leaders from different departments and
  • continuing to provide advice to departments on equipment and appliance purchases.

Check out the procurement section of the Office of Sustainability website for more information.

Technical specifications: new or updates

Consumer Electronics—Set-top boxes Version 5

Draft 1 of Version 5.0 of the ENERGY STAR technical specification for set-top (STBs) boxes has been released for stakeholder review. The draft specification, revised test method and supporting documentation are available on the U.S. ENERGY STAR website (in English only).

Highlights of the proposed specification include:

  • single base allowance of 40kWh/yr for all STBs that connect to a Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPD) network with differences addressed through functional adders and 7 kWh/year for thin clients to encourage near term implementation of aggressive power management strategies, for example Deep Sleep
  • functional adders for a full range of set-top box types, based on a dataset of 138 current models drawn from the ENERGY STAR certified product list and public reporting under the U.S. Voluntary Agreement for set-top boxes, for example
    • a CableCARD adder that can be applied twice (where applicable)
    • multi-stream and DOCSIS 2 allowances set to 0 kWh and adder for DOCSIS 3 to continue in order to encourage uptake of this functionality
    • definition and adder for transcoding to recognize the additional system requirements to perform this function
  • DC Power is defined so as to align with the ENERGY STAR V7 Program Requirements for Displays for DC powered set-top boxes.

For questions or to participate in the specification development process, contact Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Account Manager, Consumer Electronics, Office of Energy Efficiency,, 613-947-1219.

Lighting—Light bulbs/lamps Version 2.0

The final ENERGY STAR Lamps Version 2.0 Specification is released and will replace the Version 1.1 specification on January 2, 2017.

The proposed changes for Version 2.0 are intended to avoid the need for partners to retest products; however they do reflect updated industry standards and alignment with a final Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for integrated LED lamps.

The ENERGY STAR Lamps Version 2.0 Specification objectives were to:

  • increase efficacy levels
  • broaden the scope and the features
  • provide for use of DOE’s pending test procedures
  • improve harmonization between ENERGY STAR lighting specifications.

More details regarding the materials related to this revision process as well as the specification itself can be found at

Office Equipment—Displays Version 7.0

Manufacturers may elect to have their certification body (CB) certify their eligible products to the Version 7.0 requirements that will take effect on July 1, 2016. The Version 7.0 specification establishes new power consumption requirements for both computer monitors and signage displays. The limit for computer monitors is expressed in terms of total energy consumption (TEC)) to allow for greater flexibility in how manufacturers implement new features and functionality in both On and Sleep Modes while delivering substantial energy savings. EPA modified the definition of signage displays to further differentiate such products from monitors. The specification also provides new allowances for attributes found in enhanced performance displays as well as for network connectivity, touch, and occupancy sensors.

Data Centres—Large network equipment Version 1.0

Version 1.0 ENERGY STAR Large Network Equipment specification has been released and shall take effect on March 1, 2016. The specification allows for certification of a wide range of enterprise grade switches and routers not covered in the ENERGY STAR Small Network Equipment Specification, with varying form factors and port types. In addition, it introduces an approach to product families for modular products that allows both homogenous and heterogeneous module configurations to be certified. It also includes requirements focused on power supplies, energy efficiency features, and standard performance data measurement and output.

Be a market leader—join ENERGY STAR!

Canadians say the ENERGY STAR symbol is the tool they use most when shopping for energy-efficient products. You can gain a market edge and be a leader in Canada’s energy efficiency movement by joining our voluntary industry-government partnership. It is easy and there is no fee.

Contact us

Please consult the listing below should you wish to contact your Account Manager or need general information:

Dianna Miller - 613-947-5001 or email Dianna Miller

Appliances; pool pumps
Philip Wang - 613-996-5104 or email Philip Wang

Commercial food service equipment
Dianna Miller - 613-947-5001 or email Dianna Miller

Electronics; electrical utilities—Ontario
Liz Westbrook-Trenholm - 613-947-1219 or email Liz Westbrook-Trenholm

Steve Hopwood - 613-995-6741 or email Steve Hopwood

Heating, cooling and ventilation; water heaters; gas utilities
Stéphane LeBlanc - 613-947-2319 or email Stéphane LeBlanc

Lighting; electric utilities (except Ontario)
Isabelle Guimont - 613-996-5281 or email Isabelle Guimont

Office equipment; data centres
Patrick Roy - 613-943-0453 or email Patrick Roy

Public sector and institutions
Gisèle Maillet - 613-992-4535 or email Gisèle Maillet


The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and are registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.