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Energy Efficiency Regulations

High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp ballasts
Bulletin on Developing Standards
May 2010

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is proposing to amend Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to include certain high intensity discharge (HID) lamp ballasts. Dealers of regulated HID lamp ballasts imported or manufactured in Canada and shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease, are required to comply with minimum energy performance standards and other regulatory requirements.

The purpose of this document is to provide stakeholders with background information on the content of the proposed amendment so that they can submit comments.

This bulletin attempts to put the proposed amendment in plain language. The proposed legal text of the amendment will be prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I.


Canada’s current Energy Efficiency Regulations do not include HID lamp ballasts, nor has the energy efficiency of these ballasts been previously regulated at the federal level in Canada.

In December 2007, the US Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007) was signed into law. EISA 2007 amended the definitions for the different types of HID lamps and ballasts and set out efficiency levels for metal halide lamp ballasts. These new efficiency levels apply to ballasts manufactured on or after January 1, 2009.

As a result of the implementation of this act, standard magnetic probe start metal halide ballasts were effectively removed from the market, as the technological limitations of this older technology made it difficult for manufacturers of these devices to meet the high levels of energy efficiency required.

The advancement of technology has made it possible to significantly increase the energy efficiency of these devices and the implementation of these new requirements has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption nationwide. Harmonizing with the US on these regulations will benefit both the economy and the environment and help Canada to meet its energy efficiency goals. Harmonization also eliminates the potential of manufacturers selling products in Canada that they could not otherwise sell in the US.

Product Description

For the purpose of this bulletin, "HID lamp ballasts" are defined as follows (please refer to the standard CSA C863-04 for technical definitions):

"high intensity discharge lamp ballast" means a device that

  1. is either a pulse-start or probe-start metal halide ballast, non pulse-start electronic ballast or mercury vapour ballast,
  2. when used with high intensity discharge lamps, controls, by means of resistance, inductance, capacitance, or electronic elements, singly or in combination, the current, voltage, and waveform at the required values for proper lamp starting and operation,

but does not include,

  1. regulated lag ballasts;
  2. electronic ballasts that operate at 480 volts;
  3. ballasts rated only for 150 watt lamps;
  4. ballasts rated and marketed for use in wet locations; or
  5. ballasts rated and marketed to operate at ambient air temperatures above 50 C;

Energy Performance Test Procedure

The Canadian Standards Association standard C863-04, Energy efficiency of high-intensity discharge (HID) and low-pressure sodium (LPS) lamp ballasts, is the test procedure for HID lamp ballasts prescribed under the proposed regulation.

The standard can be ordered 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:

Energy Performance Standard

NRCan is proposing to regulate high-intensity discharge metal halide lamp ballast in harmonization with the US by adopting the standards as listed in Table 1.

Table 1 Proposed Standard for HID metal halide lamp ballasts
Ballasts type Lamp rated wattage Minimum rated
ballast efficiency
Magnetic Probe Start 150-500 94
Pulse Start 150-500 88
Non Pulse Start Electronic 150-250 90
251-500 92

Effective Date

NRCan proposes that these Regulations apply to those products manufactured on or after July 14, 2012.

Verification Requirements

The Energy Efficiency Regulations will require that HID lamp ballasts bear an energy efficiency verification mark indicating that the energy performance of the product has been verified and complies with the appropriate energy performance standard. To bear an energy performance verification mark, it must be authorized by a Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited certification body that is recognized for an energy efficiency performance verification program for this product.

Energy Efficiency Reports

The energy efficiency report (as per the Regulations) required for these lighting products will include the following information:

  • type of product (i.e. HID metal halide lamp ballast);
  • brand name;
  • model number;
  • manufacturer;
  • name of the organization or province that carried out the ballast verification and authorized the verification mark that will be affixed to the ballast;
  • ballast efficacy factor;
  • with which type of HID lamp the product is designed to operate;
  • number of HID lamps the ballast is designed to operate;
  • for which of the following ballast input voltages the product is designed:
    1. 120 volts;
    2. 277 volts; or
    3. 347 volts.
For all products this energy efficiency report must be submitted by the dealer to Natural Resources Canada before the product is imported to Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Importing Reports

NRCan does not propose any changes to the importing requirements currently in place, that is:
Dealers/importers must provide the following information on import documents or via electronic transmissions:

  • name of product (e.g. metal halide lamp pulse start ballast)
  • model number
  • brand name (if any)
  • address of the importer
  • purpose of the importation (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada; for modification; for export)

More information on the current verification, reporting and importing requirements is available in the Guide to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations.


NRCan attempts, where appropriate, to harmonize with other regulatory agencies. The proposed MEPS in this bulletin attempts to harmonize with regulations that came into effect in the US January 1, 2009 as outlined in the provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act, December 19, 2007.

Comments Invited

The information in the Bulletin is being issued in advance of prepublication in the Canada Gazette Part I for concerned parties to provide advance comment on the proposal. All correspondence should be forwarded to the following address:

Pierrette LeBlanc
Senior Standards Engineer
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E4
Fax: 613-947-4121