Proposed Modifications to the Minimum Energy Performance Standards for Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps under 19kW (65,000 Btu/h)

>Air conditioners and heat pumps of various types are prescribed as regulated products under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations). The Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) proposes to amend the Regulations under which dealers would be required to comply with more stringent minimum energy performance standards for residential size cooling equipment imported or shipped interprovincially for sale or lease in Canada.

The test method for central air conditioners and heat pumps (CSA-C656) is in the final stages of being updated by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) subcommittee.

In the United States, federal regulations for higher efficiency levels are to be implemented on January 23, 2006, with the exception of some "space constrained" (SC) equipment with cooling capacities of less than 30,000 btu/h. In the U.S., space constrained products, will be required to meet the normal higher efficiency levels in 2010.

The goal of this amendment to the EE Regulations will be improve the minimum efficiency levels for central air conditions and heat pumps, to coincide with increased efficiencies required in the United States.

The purpose of this document is to provide stakeholders with further information on the content of the Regulations before proceeding with pre-publication in the Canada Gazette. Depending on feedback from this bulletin, there may be a workshop held in 2004. NRCan expects to pre-publish this amendment to the EE Regulations early in 2005.
Product Description

The proposed amendment to the EE Regulations will apply to permanently installed 'air source' air conditioners and heat pumps as described in the draft CSA-C656 standard. Equipment types include air conditioners and heat pumps that are single package and split-system, single and three-phase, with rated capacity of less than 19.0 kW (65,000 Btu/h).

This bulletin does not apply to Package Terminal Air Conditioner / Heat Pump (PTAC/HP) or ground and water-source equipment. Those products are addressed in separate bulletins.

Equipment referred to as being space-constrained is included in this amendment in order to raise the efficiency levels in Canada to the expected U.S. efficiency levels. Through-the-wall, ductless split, and single package and non-weatherized equipment of less than 8.8 kW (30,000 Btu/h) are defined as being space-constrained.

Small duct high velocity (SDHV) equipment is included.
Energy Performance Test Procedure

The test standard for this equipment will be CSA C656-04, "Performance Standard for Split-System and Single Package Central Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps".

CSA C656-04 will replace the existing CSA C656-M92 and CSA C273.3-M91. The existing standards are available in French and English from:

Canadian Standards Association
5060 Spectrum Way, Suite 100
Mississauga, ON L4W 5N6
Tel.: 1 800 463-6727
In Toronto, call (416) 747-4000
Web site:
Requirements of the proposed regulation

Reporting Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

Mandatory reporting of Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is proposed. Research done for NRCan indicates that EER ratings do not necessarily follow SEER ratings. There is a wide range of EER ratings for a given SEER. Many Canadian utilities are now summer peaking. EER will be of significant value for initiatives to reduce peak demand for electricity and delay the need for new generating capacity. Reporting of this information is not considered a hardship as some manufacturers already voluntarily report this information to NRCan.

In addition, EER ratings are required to assess whether air conditioners and heat pumps meet ENERGY STAR? criteria.

Minimum energy performance standards

For air conditioners and heat pumps of less than 19 kW (65,000 btu/h) and within the scope of the CSA C656-04 test method, NRCan expects to reference the following minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER) and Heating Season Performance Factors - Zone V (HSPF V):

Air Conditioners - single package and split-system - cooling
SEER = 13

Heat Pumps - single package and split-system - cooling
SEER = 13

Heat Pumps - single package and split system - heating
HSPF V = 6.7

AC & HP - through-the-wall, split-system, SC - cooling
SEER = 10.9 *

Heat pumps - through-the-wall, split-system, SC - heating
HSPF V = 6.2 *

AC & HP - through-the-wall, single-package, SC - cooling
SEER = 10.6 *

Heat pumps - through-the-wall single package, SC - heating
HSPV V = 6.1 *

AC & HP - small duct, high velocity (SDHV) - cooling
SEER = 13

Heat pumps - small duct, high velocity (SDHV) - heating
HSPF V = 6.7

AC&HP - single package and non-weatherized, SC - cooling
SEER = 12.0 *

Heat pump - single package and non-weatherized, SC - heating
HSPF V = 6.4 *


* Until January 26, 2010, when space-constrained (SC) products are required to meet minimum SEER = 13, minimum HSPF V = 6.7. (Note that SC products are less than 8.8 kW (30,000 btu/h).)

For comparison with U.S. efficiency levels for heat pumps, HSPF V = HSPF IV / 1.15.
Labeling Requirements

The equipment must bear a verification mark which indicates that the efficiency rating has been verified by an organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. EnerGuide labels are not required to be attached to this equipment or its packaging.

In Canada, there is a voluntary, industry-managed labelling initiative, whereby manufacturers print an EnerGuide rating label on product brochures. The EnerGuide rating for both central air conditioners and heat pumps is based on the verified SEER. There is currently no EnerGuide rating label that identifies the HSPF. For heat pumps, the addition of an HSPF EnerGuide rating label on manufacturers brochures is under consideration. In colder climates, the heating function of the heat pump is more significant.
Verification, Reporting and Importing Requirements

NRCan proposes no changes to the basic verification, reporting and importing requirements currently in place.