Air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h)

April 2017

Technical bulletin on amending the standards

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 air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) with standards in the United States. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the average off mode requirements being considered for air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h).

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 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.


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.

In Canada, air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) manufactured as of February 3, 1995 are subject to the regulations. On June 27, 2011, the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) issued a direct final rule, which introduced standards for off mode power consumption and increased the stringency of the seasonal heating and cooling minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). In 2016, NRCan aligned its Regulations for seasonal heating and cooling MEPS with those in place in U.S.

On June 8, 2016, U.S. DOE published a test procedures final rule for off mode power consumption.

NRCan is considering aligning with the off mode power consumption standards of the U.S. DOE. 

Product description

Air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) are air-source air conditioners and heat pumps, with rated capacity of less than 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h).These include single package, split system, ductless, space-constrained, and small duct, high-velocity air conditioners and heat pumps.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standard:

Energy performance standard

In addition to seasonal minimal energy performance standards, NRCan is considering a maximum average off mode power consumption of:

  • less than 30 watts for all air conditioners under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h)
  • less than 33 watts for heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) that are not small-duct, high-velocity heat pumps
  • less than 30 watts for small duct, high-velocity heat pumps.

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 air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) manufactured on or after January 1, 2015.

Verification requirements

The product will continue to carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the seasonal cooling and heating MEPS (i.e. seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF)) and the new average off mode power consumption (PW,OFF) MEPS being considered and that the 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 air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h) would include the following additional product specific information:

  • average off mode power consumption, PW,OFF, in watts

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

There is no change to import reporting.

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW (65,000 Btu/h). 

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