Introduction to the Regulations

Canada’s Energy Efficiency Act (Act) and Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations)

Canada’s Energy Efficiency Act (Act) and Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) are administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). This introduction to the requirements of the Regulations is general in nature. Refer to the Act and Regulations on the Justice Canada website for full details as needed.

Quick links to the topics on this page:

Who is affected by the Regulations?

The Energy Efficiency Regulations apply to dealers who

  • import regulated energy-using products into Canada for sale or lease or
  • ship regulated energy-using products that are manufactured in one Canadian province to another for sale or lease

A dealer is defined in the Energy Efficiency Act as a person engaged in the business of

  1. manufacturing energy-using products in Canada
  2. importing energy-using products into Canada or
  3. selling or leasing energy-using products obtained directly or indirectly from a person engaged in a business described in a) or b) or an agent thereof

Regulated products

The Energy Efficiency Regulations apply to energy-using products in the following categories:

  • household appliances
  • water heaters
  • heating and air-conditioning equipment
  • lighting products
  • electronic products
  • refrigeration equipment
  • other commercial and industrial products

All of these regulated products must meet federal energy efficiency standards in order to be imported into Canada or shipped from one province to another for the purpose of sale or lease. The Regulations continue to apply to these products if they are incorporated into a larger unit or machine, even when that unit or machine is an unregulated product.

Responsibilities of dealers

Dealers are responsible for ensuring that each model of a regulated product they import into Canada for sale or lease, or ship from (inter-provincial shipment), meets the energy efficiency standard set out in the Regulations. Depending on the product, dealers may also be responsible for ensuring that an EnerGuide label or a lighting product label is or a lighting product label is affixed to each unit. As well, all energy-using products must carry an energy efficiency verification mark.

Section 5 of the Act requires that a dealer importing any of the regulated energy-using products or transporting them between provinces submit an energy efficiency report to Natural Resources Canada, unless a report has already been submitted for that model of product. Furthermore, the Regulations require that the energy efficiency report be submitted before the product is imported into Canada or shipped between provinces.

If the product is imported, additional import information summarized under import reporting must be included in a customs release document at the time of importation.

In summary, the dealer must

  • ensure the product meets the energy efficiency standard specified in the Regulations
  • ensure an energy efficiency report has been filed with NRCan
  • provide the necessary import information to Canada Border Services Agency, when importing products
  • ensure the product bears an energy efficiency verification mark
  • ensure an EnerGuide label or lighting product label is affixed to the product (if prescribed by the Regulations)

Energy efficiency standards

The prescribed energy efficiency standard for each regulated product is set out in the energy-using product specific sections of the Regulations.

For each of the regulated products, NRCan has individual product pages that contain the following:

  • the definition of each product covered by the Regulations
  • the standard that must be used to test the product's energy efficiency to ensure that it complies with the minimum requirements of the Regulations
  • the date by which the product must meet the prescribed energy efficiency standard (compliance date)
  • the product specific information that must be reported in the energy efficiency report
  • information on whether or not an EnerGuide or lighting product label is required
  • the availability of a searchable product list of compliant models

Energy efficiency report

Before shipping an energy-using product interprovincially or importing it, the dealer must ensure that an energy efficiency report has been filed with Natural Resources Canada.

An energy efficiency report must be submitted only when a product model is not already listed in NRCan's database.

What is an energy efficiency report?

Section 5 of the Act requires that an energy efficiency report be sent to Natural Resources Canada before an energy-using product is imported into Canada or shipped between provinces. The report describes the energy-using product and provides information on its energy efficiency.

The energy efficiency report should include the following data:

  • name of product
  • brand name
  • model number*
  • manufacturer
  • name of the certification body or province that carried out the product energy performance verification and authorized the verification mark that will be put on the product
  • specific information about the energy efficiency and energy-use characteristics of the product as listed on the individual regulated product pages

*To better match business practices, for electric motors please provide the model number instead of the unique motor identifier (UMI).

**See section 5 of the Regulations for CFL, external power supplies, general service lamps and modified spectrum incandescent lamps.

When does a dealer have to make a report?

A dealer must file an energy efficiency report with Natural Resources Canada only when a product model is not already listed in NRCan's database. Dealers can check with NRCan to find out if an energy-using product is already listed.

Products that are included in NRCan's searchable product list of compliant models can be imported into Canada and shipped between provinces, provided no changes have been made to the product that affect its energy efficiency. If a product is not yet listed with NRCan, the dealer must submit a report for the product before importing it or shipping it between provinces.

How should a dealer send a report to Natural Resources Canada?

The energy efficiency report forms are available electronically (Excel spreadsheet) and can be submitted to Natural Resources Canada via e-mail. Reports may also be submitted in hard copy by post or fax or on diskette by post. A dealer or manufacturer can also authorize the certification body associated with the energy efficiency verification/certification file of the product to submit the information.

What does Natural Resources Canada do with an energy efficiency report?

NRCan checks the information in an energy efficiency report to make sure that the product meets the prescribed energy efficiency standard. If it does, the product model is added to NRCan's searchable product list of models.

If a product does not meet the prescribed energy efficiency level, NRCan will contact the dealer to correct the situation before the first importation or shipment of the product. NRCan will also request information from dealers who do not file the required energy efficiency reports, or who file incomplete reports.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regularly sends information about importations of regulated products to NRCan. This information is cross-matched with information in the database to determine compliance with the Regulations.

NRCan can instruct customs officials to stop the importation of a product that does not meet the prescribed energy efficiency standard.

Import reporting

A dealer who imports a regulated energy-using product into Canada must, at the time of release, include specific information regarding the product, as well as the purpose of its importation on the customs release document.

What information must be on the customs release document?

A dealer who is importing a regulated energy-using product into Canada must include the following information on the customs release document:

  • name of product (see the list of energy-using products)
  • model number*
  • brand name, if any
  • address of the dealer who is importing the product
  • purpose for which the product is being imported
    • for sale or lease in Canada without modification
    • for sale or lease in Canada after being modified to comply with the prescribed energy efficiency standard or
    • for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada

*For electric motors, the importer is encouraged to provide the model number instead of an UMI.

The customs release document must be submitted electronically to CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency). Dealers must always include the required information on the customs release document, regardless of when the product was manufactured.

Note: Incomplete documents

If the customs release document is not complete or if the product does not meet energy efficiency standards, the customs officer may refuse to allow the product to clear customs.

Energy efficiency verification mark

Regulated energy-using products imported into Canada or shipped between provinces must bear an energy efficiency verification mark from a certification body accredited for energy efficiency verification/certification by the Standards Council of Canada.

Note: There is an exemption for CFL and some general service lamps and an alternative for external power supplies as per section 4 of the Regulations.

What is a verification mark?

An energy efficiency verification mark indicates that the energy performance of the product has been verified. It is not a safety certification mark. It is a certification mark that is authorized for use by the certification body and signals the product’s compliance with Canada’s energy efficiency requirements.

The certification body must be accredited for energy efficiency verification by the Standards Council of Canada. Under some provincial laws, a province can issue a provincial label that indicates that the product meets the provincial energy efficiency levels. NRCan accepts provincial labels as verification marks if the provincial energy efficiency standards are equivalent to, or exceed, the federal standards.

Where does the verification mark go?

The verification mark must be affixed to a surface of the product in such a way that it is readily visible. In the case of prescribed lamps, the verification mark can be affixed to the exterior of the product's package.

When does the verification mark go on a product?

The energy efficiency verification mark can be placed on a product as soon as the product has met the terms of the applicable energy-performance verification program. At the latest, the dealer must ensure that the verification mark is on the product before the product leaves the dealer's possession or, if the product has been passed on to a consignee, before it leaves the consignee's possession.

What certification bodies are accredited for energy efficiency verification?

The Standards Council of Canada has accredited these certification bodies in regard to energy efficiency:

You may also consult the Standard Council of Canada website for any modifications to the list above and to learn more about the certification bodies and their scope of accreditation.

Labelling requirements

The Act and Regulations require dealers to attach a label to the following energy-using products:

EnerGuide label to

  • clothes dryers
  • clothes washers
  • integrated over/under washer-dryers
  • dishwashers
  • electric ranges
  • freezers
  • refrigerators and combination refrigerator-freezers

Lighting product lamp label on the packaging as per sections 424 to 429 of the Regulations for:

  • general service incandescent reflector lamps: PAR, R, ER, BR and BPAR lamps
  • CFL (compact fluorescent lamps)
  • general service lamps (common light bulbs) and modified spectrum incandescent lamps

Who must label and when?

A dealer who imports one of these products or ships it from one Canadian province to another must ensure the product is properly labelled before it leaves the possession of the dealer or the dealer's consignee. Many dealers find it cost-effective to label the appliance as part of the production line process at the manufacturing level. The label must remain on the product until it is sold or leased at the retail level.

What information is provided on the EnerGuide and the lighting product label?

The EnerGuide label indicates the estimated annual energy consumption of the household appliance in kWh (kilowatt hours). Room air conditioner labels indicate the CEER (combined energy efficiency ratio) of the particular model.

The lighting product label on the lamp packaging indicates the light output in lumens, the energy used in watts, and the life of the bulb in hours.

This information allows consumers to compare products and to make choices that will save them both money and energy, and thus encourage the sale and availability of energy efficient products.

For labelling details:

Exemptions

Under certain circumstances, a dealer importing or shipping energy-using products between provinces can be exempted from submitting an energy efficiency report to Natural Resources Canada and the product can be exempted from meeting the prescribed energy efficiency standard. Exemptions apply if

  1. A dealer is importing or shipping between provinces an energy-using product that will be modified to meet the energy efficiency standard. In this case, the dealer has 90 days to ensure that the product is modified and meets the energy efficiency standard. Within 120 days after the product was imported or shipped, the dealer must submit an energy efficiency report to NRCan.
  2. A dealer is importing or shipping between provinces an energy-using product that will be incorporated into another product and then exported from Canada.
  3. A dealer is importing or shipping between provinces an energy-using product, only to export it from Canada.

Federal and provincial energy efficiency legislation

The governments of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia also regulate the energy efficiency of energy-using products. In some cases, provincial regulations may differ from federal requirements or may apply to other types of energy-using equipment. For federally regulated product, see also the energy efficiency regulations by province.

Government of Canada energy efficiency legislation and associate information:

Natural Resources Canada

Justice Canada


This document does not constitute part of the Energy Efficiency Act (Act) or its associated regulations.  This document is an administrative document that is intended to facilitate compliance by the regulated party with the Act and its associated regulations.  This document is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the interpretation of the Act or its associated regulations. If a regulated party has questions about their legal obligations or responsibilities under the Act or its associated regulations, they should seek the advice of legal counsel.