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Amendments to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016

This regulatory initiative is part of the 2021-2023 Forward Regulatory Plan.

Enabling Acts


The Government of Canada is committed to improving energy efficiency standards for consumer, commercial and industrial products to support the Government’s climate change and energy efficiency goals and to reducing regulatory burden through alignment with the United States, provinces, and territories when possible and appropriate. Improving energy efficiency standards and decreasing regulatory burden provides both economic and environmental benefits to Canada. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, energy efficiency offers a powerful tool to support the Government’s efforts on competitiveness, climate and inclusion.

Implemented in 1995 under the Energy Efficiency Act, the Energy Efficiency Regulations are amended regularly to add or update minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), testing standards or labelling requirements for energy-using products used in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors

Between 2021 and 2023, Natural Resources Canada intends to move forward with Amendment 17 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations. That amendment would:

  • Increase the MEPS of major household appliances (refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers) to the energy efficiency performance levels required to achieve ENERGY STAR certification as written in the associated specifications that applied on December 13, 2019. This aligns with the mandate letter of December 13, 2019, in which the Prime Minister of Canada asked the Minister of Natural Resources to make ENERGY STAR certification mandatory for all new home appliances starting in 2022.
  • Update the testing standards and MEPS for central air conditioners and heat pumps to align with new requirements set to come into force in the United States in 2023.
  • Make miscellaneous updates to scope, reporting and compliance requirements for some currently regulated products to reflect updated requirements in the United States and Canada.

Natural Resources Canada continuously assesses the potential impacts of updating existing MEPS or adding new product categories to support the Government’s climate change objectives and its commitments related to addressing unnecessary regulatory differences within Canada and North America. Future changes will be considered based on criteria such as potential energy and greenhouse gas savings, economic savings for consumers and businesses, and alignment opportunities with our trading partners.  This Forward Regulatory Plan will be updated, and stakeholders will be notified as additional products are put forward for consideration.

Products currently under considerations for future amendments:

  • Natural Resources Canada plans to introduce MEPS for light-duty vehicle replacement tires as per the Government of Canada’s commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change. The timelines for that work will be updated when there is a clear path ahead to ensure energy savings and safety for Canadians.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

The proposed amendments will be developed in line with previous regulatory cooperation efforts made to address or avoid unnecessary regulatory differences within Canada and North America.

  • Household appliances: Natural Resources Canada is considering maintaining the same testing standards already used in Canada, and already aligned with the United States.
  • Central residential air conditioners and heat pumps: Natural Resources Canada is considering aligning the testing standard and the MEPS with the United States while taking into account Canadian climate conditions.

More details will be provided in upcoming technical bulletins that will be published on our website.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

For proposed amendments, there may be business impacts on manufacturers, importers and distributors of these products as the amendments will prevent the importation into Canada or shipping across provinces of regulated products that do not meet prescribed efficiency levels. The “One-for One” Rule and/or the small business lens may apply. Consumers and businesses are expected to save money by purchasing products that are more efficient.


The approximate timing for pre-consultation and pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, is as follows:

  • Spring 2021: pre-consultation
  • Fall 2021: pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

The exact date for final publication of the amendment will depend on the number and nature of comments received during the public comment periods, but are typically within a year of the initial public comment period. Products described in these updates and the timing of publication are subject to decision-making authorities under the Energy Efficiency Act.

General consultation practices are the following:

  • National Standards System – relevant Canadian Standards Association Steering Committees, Technical Committees and Technical Subcommittees assembled from stakeholders (including manufacturers, industry associations and other interested groups) provide input, review and vote on changes to test standards.
  • Bulletins – distribution is targeted to key industry stakeholders, federal and provincial stakeholders, and general interest groups.
  • Workshops/webinars – stakeholders are invited to discuss proposed regulatory requirements, review comments and offer additional input as required, especially where there are significant issues raised that are best addressed multilaterally. In some cases, bilateral discussions are also held with stakeholders.

Further Information

Departmental Contact

Abla Hanna

Senior Director, Demand Policy & Analysis Division
Office of Energy Efficiency, Energy Sector
580 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4

Date First included in Forward Regulatory Plan

Amendment 17 added December 29, 2020, updated April 16, 2021.

Consult NRCan’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by NRCan
  • further information on NRCan’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives.

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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