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Portable air conditioners

May 2017

Technical bulletin on developing the standards

Webinar – May 2017

On April 3, 2017, the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) issued its Forward Regulatory Plan 2017-19 which identifies its intention to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to introduce reporting and verification requirements for portable air conditioners (PAC) to align with test standards in the United States. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the reporting requirements being considered for PAC.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the Amendment 15 proposal.

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.

PAC are not currently defined as an energy-using product. On June 1, 2016, the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) issued a final rule, which introduced a new test procedure for PAC. This test procedure will be mandatory for representations of energy use or efficiency on or after October 1, 2017.  On December 28, 2016, the U.S. DOE also issued in the Federal Register a pre‑publication final rule which introduced minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for PAC. The effective date of this rule is 5 years after date of publication in the Federal Register.

NRCan is considering requiring the reporting and verification of the product's capacity and energy efficiency performance according to the U.S. DOE test procedure.

Product description

PAC are self-contained portable systems that deliver cooled, conditioned air to a single room. They include a source of refrigeration and may include additional means for air circulation and heating. They typically sit on the floor and come with an installation kit for quick set up. Most models also have wheels to facilitate moving them to different rooms.

2 types will be considered:  

  • single-duct PAC that draw all of the condenser inlet air from the conditioned space without the means of a duct, and discharge the condenser outlet air outside the conditioned space through a single duct attached to an adjustable window bracket
  • dual-duct PAC that draw some or all of the condenser inlet air from outside the conditioned space through a duct attached to an adjustable window bracket. They may draw additional condenser inlet air from the conditioned space, and discharge the condenser outlet air outside the conditioned space by means of a separate duct attached to an adjustable window bracket.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standard:

Energy performance standard

No MEPS are being considered in Amendment 15.  MEPS will be considered in Amendment 16 to harmonize with standards in the United States once they are published in the United States.

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 reporting and verification requirements to PAC manufactured on or after October 1, 2017.

Labelling requirements

NRCan is not considering a mandatory EnerGuide labelling requirement for PAC at this time.

Verification requirements

NRCan would require that these products carry a third party verification mark indicating 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 for PAC would include the following information:

  • name of product (i.e. PAC)
  • brand name
  • model number
  • name of the manufacturer
  • name of the certification body whose verification mark would be affixed to the product
  • seasonally adjusted cooling capacity
  • combined energy efficiency ratio
  • duct configuration: single-duct or dual-duct  

PAC with multiple duct configuration options would be rated and certified under both applicable duct configurations (i.e. single-duct and dual-duct).

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 PAC.

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 May 30, 2017. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4

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