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Energy Efficiency Regulations

Commercial Packaged Gas and Oil-fired Boilers

Bulletin on Developing Standards

May 2010


Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) proposes to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to require dealers to comply with minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for commercial gas and oil-fired boilers, imported or shipped inter-provincially, for sale or lease in Canada. 

The purpose of this bulletin is to present proposed changes to the Regulations with respect to minimum efficiency requirements for commercial boilers.

This bulletin attempts to put the proposed amendment into plain language. The legal text of the amendment will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part1.


Advances in the technologies employed by commercial packaged boilers - such as burner capacity modulation, intermittent ignition, forced draft and direct vent, sealed combustion and condensing technology - have increased the availability of efficient boilers on the market.

In early 2008 ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings was adopted.  A major shift from earlier versions was a move to thermal efficiency as the performance metric for most categories of commercial boilers.  On July 29, 2009 the DOE issued its Final Rule in 10 CFR Part 431, amending their energy conservation standards for ten classes of commercial packaged boilers by adopting ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

NRCan has assessed the economics and technical feasibility for new minimum efficiency levels. NRCan’s proposed regulation outlines a roadmap for commercial boiler energy efficiency standards in Canada.  NRCan proposes to implement the regulation in three stages. Proposed 2012 minimum efficiency levels are substantively the same as those in ASHRAE 90.1–2007, and subsequently adopted by the DOE, except for steam boilers.  Proposed 2015 levels move the efficiency to near condensing, and then condensing in 2018.

NRCan proposes to ban all standing pilots from gas boilers and is considering introducing a requirement to have outdoor air temperature reset for controlling supply water temperature.

A study of the Canadian marketplace indicates that the trend in commercial gas boilers is towards condensing technology.  Thirty percent of all commercial gas boilers shipped in 2009 were condensing, up from 17% in 2007. It would also appear from the data that the near condensing market is losing market share to the condensing market.    

Product Description

For the purpose of the Regulations a commercial packaged boiler is a boiler that uses natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, that is shipped complete with heating equipment, mechanical draft equipment, and automatic controls, and is usually shipped in one or more sections.  A packaged boiler includes factory-built boilers manufactured as a unit or system. For the purpose of proposing the efficiency levels, metrics and prescriptive requirements for the product, gas and oil-fired boilers will be broken down into categories based on size as follows:

Category Size Range
Small (including gas and oil / steam and hot water) ≥ 300,000 Btu/h and ≤ 2,500,000 Btu/h
Large (including gas and oil / steam and hot water) ≥ 2,500,000 Btu/h
Minimum Performance Levels and Effective Dates

NRCan proposes the following multi-year tiered approach to standards for commercial packaged boilers:

Boiler Type Prescriptive Requirements Minimum Efficiency Effective Dates
Small Gas Hot Water No standing pilot 80% Eτ - March 2, 2012
85% Eτ – March 2, 2015
88% Eτ – March 2, 2018
Small Gas Steam No standing pilot 77% Eτ March 2, 2012
79% Eτ March 2, 2015
Small Oil Hot Water Nil 82% Eτ - March 2, 2012
85% Eτ - March 2, 2015
88% Eτ – Date to be determined
Small Oil Steam Nil 81% Eτ - March 2, 2012
Large Gas Hot Water No standing pilot 82% Ec - March 2, 2012
87% Ec - March 2, 2015
90% Ec - March 2, 2018
Large Oil Hot Water Nil 84% Ec - March 2, 2012
87% Ec - March 2, 2015
90% Ec – Date to be determined
Large Gas Steam No standing pilot 77% Eτ - March 2, 2012
79% Eτ - March 2, 2015
Large Oil Steam Nil 81% Eτ - March 2, 2012

NRCan specifically invites comments from stakeholders regarding the following items:

  1. The mandatory use of outdoor temperature reset control of supply water temperature as a prescriptive requirement for commercial packaged boilers;
  2. NRCan’s 2012 proposal differs from the DOE’s 2012 regulation as it pertains to natural draft steam boilers. NRCan proposes not to differentiate between natural draft and non-natural draft boilers and make all steam boilers subject to the same MEPS at the same time. NRCan recognizes that a modest portion of the steam market is natural draft, and so two tiers are proposed to allow the market time to improve the efficiency of natural draft boilers. NRCan is seeking information on which segment of the market is using new steam boilers with natural draft;
  3. The regulation of natural draft steam boilers as a replacement market product only; and
  4. The feasibility of regulating oil boilers at the condensing level and an appropriate timeline.
Energy Performance Test Procedure

NRCan proposes that the HI BTS 2000, Rev 06.07 Method to Determine Efficiency of Commercial Space Heating Boilers, Second Edition be used to determine the efficiency of commercial packaged gas and oil-fired boilers

This standard is available from:

Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)
2111 Wilson Blvd, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22201, USA
Tel.: (703) 524-8800
Fax: (703) 528-3816
Or can be purchased online
Effective date

NRCan proposes that boilers, which are subject to the Regulation and are manufactured after the effective dates as proposed in this bulletin, will have to meet the associated minimum performance levels.

Labelling Requirements

There are no labelling requirements for these boilers.

Verification Requirements

Efficiency ratings must be verified by an organization that has a verification program accredited by the Standard Council of Canada. The equipment must carry an efficiency verification mark.

Reporting Requirements

Energy efficiency reports

The energy efficiency report required for commercial packaged boilers shall include the following information:

  • Fuel the product uses (natural gas, propane or fuel-oil);
  • Type of system (hot water or low pressure steam);
  • Input rate in Btu/h; and
  • Thermal or combustion efficiency as required.

These reports must be submitted by the dealer to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially.

Importing reports

A dealer who imports these products into Canada must include the following information on the Customs release document:

  • Type of product (e.g. gas or oil)
  • Model number
  • Brand name of the product
  • Name and 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)

NRCan attempts to harmonize with other regulatory agencies. The 2012 efficiency levels proposed in this bulletin essentially harmonize with regulations coming into effect in the US March 2, 2012 as outlined in the US DOE’s Final Rule published July, 29, 2009. Because of Canada’s climate and the importance of space heating in Canadian buildings, NRCan is proposing a timeline to move to condensing equipment by 2018.

Comments Invited

The information in the bulletin is being issued in advance of pre-publication in the Canada Gazette to allow time for concerned stakeholders to comment on the proposal.  Comments are invited by May 31, 2010. Consultations will be done via web/teleconference at a date and time to be sent by separate email correspondence.  All correspondence should be sent to:

Rosalyn Cochrane
Senior Standards Engineer
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth St
Ottawa ON K1A 0E4
Tel: (613) 995-5433