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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial


Proposed Amendment to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations

January 2006



This bulletin corrects the test standard to be used for testing no-door units. See "ENERGY PERFORMANCE TEST PROCEDURE". Changes are in bold characters.

Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan's) Office of Energy Efficiency is proposing to amend Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to require dealers of self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers imported or shipped interprovincially for sale or lease in Canada to comply with minimum energy performance standards.

In October 2004, NRCan issued a bulletin describing the proposed amendments and invited comments. In December 2004, NRCan held a stakeholder workshop on the proposed regulations, and the attendees provided comments. As a result of comments received, NRCan modified the proposed amendments, and in April 2005 issued another bulletin outlining the changes. Comments on that bulletin have resulted in additional changes, which are described herein.

Changes from the April 2005 bulletin are denoted below in bold. This bulletin attempts to put the proposed revisions of the amendment in plain language. The legal text of the amendment will be published in the Canada Gazette Part I.


The most recent Canadian Standards Association standard for food service refrigerators and freezers (CAN/CSA C827-98) was published in 1998.

The CSA standard contains minimum performance criteria for annual energy consumption that vary with the volume of the refrigerator or freezer. The standard is voluntary in all jurisdictions in Canada, except in:

  • Ontario, where these criteria are regulated by the Province of Ontario's Energy Efficiency Act (Ontario Regulation 82/95, amended to O. Reg 18/02) and apply to products manufactured, sold, or leased after April 1, 2003.
  • New Brunswick, where these criteria are regulated in Regulation 95-70 of the New Brunswick Energy Efficiency Act (O.C. 95-555), and apply to products manufactured, sold, or leased after August 31, 2004.

Technical criteria for ENERGY STAR qualified commercial solid door refrigerators and freezers are in effect in the United States. Canada does not currently cover these items as ENERGY STAR products, but is expected to do so in the near future. The US ENERGY STAR performance criteria cover four types of products — refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, and ice-cream cabinets — and does not further subdivide them. The CSA standard, on the other hand, subdivides them into different types of refrigerators and freezers. The US ENERGY STAR criteria only cover solid door equipment, whereas the CSA standard covers both solid-door and glass-door equipment. The minimum performance levels specified by US ENERGY STAR are generally lower (more energy-efficient) than those set out in the CSA standard.

The California Energy Commission has regulated the performance levels of reach-in refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers, with Tier 1 levels in effect as of March 2003, and Tier 2 levels coming into effect in August 2004. The Tier 1 levels were set so that 25% of the units in the California Energy Commission's database would be eliminated for sale in California, and the Tier 2 levels were set so that 50% of the units would be eliminated for sale.

It is proposed that the new Canadian performance levels be identical to the California Tier 1 and Tier II levels as follows:

  • Effective 1 January 2007: California Tier I levels:

    • Refrigerators (with solid/opaque doors or transparent doors)
    • Freezers (with solid/opaque doors or transparent doors)
    • Refrigerator-freezers (with solid/opaque doors)
  • Effective 1 January 2008: California Tier II levels:

    • Refrigerators (with solid/opaque doors or transparent doors)
    • Freezers (with solid/opaque doors)
    • Refrigerator-freezers (with solid/opaque doors)

In addition, no-door refrigerators and freezers will have to have their efficiency levels reported, although those units do not have to meet an efficiency level at this time.

The California levels were chosen rather than those of CSA C827-98 because the CSA standard does not contain enough data to specify performance levels for some of the more common types of reach-in refrigerators and freezers; these units would therefore fall outside the regulations.


NRCan is proposing that the Regulations will apply to self-contained, commercial food service refrigerators and freezers. For the purposes of the Regulation, self-contained, commercial refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers are refrigerated storage cabinets or freezers that:

  • have cabinet doors, cabinet drawers or no doors;
  • are designed for the storage of food, beverages or ice; and
  • have a self-contained refrigeration system that requires an energy input.

Excluded from the regulations are:

  • Buffet tables
  • Preparation tables
  • Walk-in refrigerators and freezers
Change from April 2005 proposal:
  1. Rather than naming specific types of units that are included, the definitions of a refrigerator, freezer, and refrigerator-freezer have been broadened, and only the exclusions are listed.
  2. Refrigerators or freezers that have cabinet drawers are specifically included.
  3. Buffet tables and preparation tables are excluded.
  4. The regulations have been extended to include all self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers without dorrs, and not just units that sell canned or bottled beverages.


The proposed test methods are

For units with doors or drawers:
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 117-1992, Method of Testing Closed Refrigerators

For no-door units:
ANSI/ASHRAE 72-1998, Method of Testing Open Refrigerators

The following exceptions apply to both standards: the back (loading) doors of pass-through and roll-through refrigerators and freezers shall remain closed throughout the test, and the controls of all appliances shall be adjusted to obtain the following product temperatures:

Type Integrated Average Product Temperature
(Section 9.1.1) in oC
Refrigerator compartment 3.3 + 1.1
Freezer compartment -17.8 + 1.1
Wine chiller 7.2 + 1.1
Ice Cream Cabinet -20.6 + 1.1

Change from November 2005 proposal:
No-door units shall be tested according to ASHRAE 72 rather than ASHRAE 117.

The standards can be ordered from:

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
Engineers, Inc.
1791 Tullie Circle N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30329 USA
Tel.: 1-800-527-4723
Web site:

Volume shall be calculated in accordance with sections 4 and 5 of ANSI/AHAM HRF-1-2004, entitled Energy Performance and Capacity of Household Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers. The standard can be ordered from:

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers Suite 402
1111 19th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 872-5955
Web site:

Change from April 2005 proposal:
The standard for calculating the volume has changed from CSA C300 to AHAM HRF-1, in order to harmonize with the California Energy Commission.

The actual daily power consumed (in kWh/day) shall not exceed the amounts specified below:

Note: V is the refrigerator volume measured in litres
AV (adjusted volume, in litres) is equal to the refrigerator
volume plus 1.63 times the freezer volume.
Edaily = Maximum daily energy consumption (kWh)

Self-contained, commercial refrigerators



Jan. 1/07 to Dec. 31/07:
Edaily = 0.00441V + 4.22
Effective Jan. 1/08:
Edaily = 0.00441V + 2.76

Jan. 1/07 to Dec. 31/07:
Edaily = 0.00607V + 5.78
Effective Jan. 1/08:
Edaily = 0.00607V + 4.77

Self-contained, commercial refrigerators or freezers NO DOORS Effective Jan. 1/07:
No maximum daily energy consumption is specified. However, manufacturers still have to test their units, have the performance verified and report the value.
Self-contained commercial freezers



Jan. 1/07 to 31 Dec./07:
Edaily = 0.0141V + 2.83
Effective Jan. 1/08:
Edaily = 0.0141V + 2.28

Effective Jan. 1/07:
Edaily = 0.0332V + 5.10

Self-contained commercial refrigerator-freezers OPAQUE Jan. 1/07 to 31 Dec./07:
Edaily = 0.00964AV + 2.63
Effective Jan. 1/08:
Edaily = 0.00964AV + 1.65

Change from April 2005 proposal:
  1. The term "reach-in cabinets, pass-through cabinets and roll-in or roll-through cabinets" has been changed to "self-contained commercial" units.
  2. The regulations have been extended to include all self-contained commercial refrigerators and freezers without doors (and not just units that sell canned or bottled beverages.) No maximum daily energy consumption is specified, however manufacturers still have to report what the daily energy consumption is for these units with the results verified by a certification program accredited to the Standards Council of Canada.
  3. "Wine chillers that are not commercial products" are no longer specifically mentioned, although they still fall under the regulations as "commercial self-contained refrigerators".


NRCan is proposing that the energy efficiency standard for self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers come into effect on JANUARY 1, 2007. All self-contained, commercial refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers that have their manufacturing process completed on or after the specified date, and that are subject to the Regulations will be required to meet the stated efficiency levels.


There is no requirement at this time for a label showing the unit's energy efficiency (apart from the verification mark described below).


The same verification requirements that apply to other products regulated under the Energy Efficiency Act will apply to self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers.

NRCan is proposing that regulated self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers will carry a verification mark indicating that the energy performance of the product has been verified. The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited certification organization (called the Certification Body) that administers an energy performance verification program for this product. NRCan will also accept labels issued by a province indicating that the product meets the provincial energy efficiency levels as a verification mark, providing that the provincial level is equivalent to or more stringent than the federally regulated level.

The test portion of an energy-efficiency verification program may be conducted at the Certification Body's own facility, at the manufacturer's own test facility, or at an independent test facility. The Certification Body is responsible for qualifying the manufacturers' and independent test facilities by ensuring that the test facilities meet the requirements of the SCC standard CAN-P-4: General Requirements for the Accreditation of Calibration and Testing Laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025). The Certification Body also monitors and audits the facility on an ongoing basis.


Note: The reporting requirements also apply to

  • all self-contained, commercial refrigerators without doors, and
  • all self-contained, commercial freezers without doors.

The energy efficiency report required for this product will include the following information:

  • Type of product (refrigerator, freezer, or refrigerator-freezer)
  • Brand name
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Name of the organization or province that carried out the verification and authorized the verification mark that will appear on the product
  • Daily energy consumption in kWh
  • Type of refrigerator, freezer or refrigerator-freezer:
    • Cabinet style, if applicable (reach-in, pass-through, roll-through, or roll-in)
    • Whether the product has a worktop surface (yes, no)
    • Whether the product is designed for installation under a counter (yes, no)
    • Whether the product used for the cooling and storage of wine (yes, no)
    • Is the product designed to store ice cream or similar foods (yes, no)
    • Door type (opaque, transparent, cabinet drawers, or no door)
  • Volume (in litres) of the refrigerator compartment, if there is one
  • Volume (in litres) of the freezer compartment, if there is one
  • For refrigerator-freezers only: adjusted volume (in litres)

This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to the Minister of NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded interprovincially for the first time.

Change from April 2005 proposal:
  1. The reporting requirements apply to all no-door self-contained refrigerators and freezers, whereas before the regulations for no-door units just referred to canned and bottled beverage refrigerators.
  2. The door type now includes "cabinet drawers".


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

  • Type of product
  • Model number
  • Brand name
  • 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 as much as possible to harmonize with other regulatory agencies.

The proposed federal levels harmonize with regulations in effect for the state of California, with the following exceptions:

  • California has additional reporting requirements that are not required by NRCan:
    • Defrost system (automatic, manual, partial-automatic)
    • Door style (hinged or sliding)
    • Type (for refrigerator-freezers, California needs to know if the unit has a single refrigeration system or two refrigeration systems)
    • Height, width, depth
    • Type of illumination
    • Illumination wattage
    • Refrigerant type (ozone-depleting, non-ozone-depleting)
    • Insulation type (ozone-depleting, non-ozone-depleting)
  • In addition to Tier I and Tier II, California specifies two additional energy-efficiency levels that come into effect on January 2006 and January 2007. These efficiency levels are lower (more energy-efficient) than the Canadian ones.


NRCan uses a cost-benefit analysis to determine the economic attractiveness of improving the energy efficiency of equipment. The improved efficiency required by these changes to the Energy Efficiency Regulations is expected to provide positive benefits to Canadians, particularly if the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is taken into account.


The purpose of this bulletin to provide stakeholders with a concise interpretation of the proposed amendment, as they apply to self-contained, commercial refrigerators and freezers. The full legal text will be as pre-published in the Canada Gazette Part I, which will amend the official regulations once published in the Canada Gazette Part II.

Comments are invited during the 75 day comment period (between pre-publication and publication) and should be forwarded to:

Equipment Standards and Labelling Unit
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0E4
Web site: