External power supplies

Energy Efficiency Regulations

Regulatory definition

External power supply, a device that:

  • is designed to convert line voltage ac input into lower voltage dc or ac output
  • is able to convert to only one dc or ac output voltage at a time
  • is designed to be used with a household or office end-use product that constitutes the primary load
  • is encased in an enclosure separated from that end-use product and is connected to that product by an electrical connection, and
  • has a nominal output power of 250 W or less

but does not include a device that:

  • powers the charger of a detachable battery pack of an end-use product
  • charges the battery of an end-use product that is fully or primarily motor operated
  • is an accessory to a medical device as defined in section 1 of the Medical Devices Regulations, or
  • is a power sourcing equipment as defined in IEEE 802.3-2008 Standard entitled Standard for Information Technology - Telecommunications and Information Exchange Between Systems - Specific requirements Part 3

Compliance date

Manufactured on or after July 1, 2010

Compliant product models

External power supplies as listed on NRCan’s searchable database

Testing standard

CSA C381.1 or 10 C.F.R Appendix Z

Energy efficiency regulations by province

Some provinces also have their own energy efficiency regulations for many of the federally regulated products – find out which ones!

Energy efficiency standard

Energy performance standard for external power supplies
Nominal (nameplate) output power Minimum average efficiency in active mode (decimal equivalent of a percentage) Maximum power in no-load mode
<1 W 0.5 × ln (nameplate output) 0.5 W
≥1 W and ≤51 W 0.09 × ln (nameplate output) + 0.5 0.5 W
>51 W 0.85 0.5 W
Where In (nameplate output) is the natural logarithm of the nameplate output power which is expressed in watts
W = Watts

Verification mark

For EPS, the use of the Roman numeral IV is accepted as an alternative to the energy efficiency verification mark if:

  • the Roman numeral is clearly indicated on the product according to the International Efficiency Marking Protocol, and
  • the product performance is verified by a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification organization with a relevant energy efficiency scope (i.e. offering an EPS energy efficiency verification program.)

Energy efficiency report requirements

  • name of product
  • brand name
  • model number
  • nominal output, in volts (V), at highest and lowest output setting
  • nominal output power, in watts (W), at highest and lowest output setting, if applicable
  • whether the output is ac or dc
  • average efficiency at highest and lowest power output setting
  • no load power, in watts (W)
  • Roman numeral mark, if applicable
  • whether the product bears an energy efficiency verification mark
  • name of the certification body associated with verifying the Roman numeral mark or that authorized the verification mark that will appear on the product

Download the energy efficiency reporting template.

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.