ENERGY STAR News

Spring 2007

In This Issue…

ecoENERGY Initiatives: Open for business

Starting April 1, 2007, the new ecoENERGY Retrofit initiative provides federal grants to owners of homes and small businesses (including detached, semi-detached and low-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) that are no more than three storeys high. The exciting part of this initiative is that qualifying critera for many of the products eligible for grants are ENERGY STAR. The eligible improvements for which grants will be provided include: ENERGY STAR qualified central heating systems, central and room air cooling systems, heat pumps, as well as windows, doors and skylights. View the list of eligible equipment including federal grants. We encourage all companies that have qualified products to become familiar with the ecoENERGY Retrofit initiatives, ensure your qualified products are listed on the ENERGY STAR Web site, and to provide information on how your customers can qualify for the federal grant. Visit www.ecoENERGY.gc.ca for more information.

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Decorative Strings Newest Lighting Product to Join ENERGY STAR

An ENERGY STAR product specification has been developed for decorative light strings. The specification came into effect on March 9, 2007, making these the latest lighting product to be added to the ENERGY STAR line-up in Canada. The criteria were the first to be developed in Canada with input from international stakeholders.

Decorative light strings that meet the ENERGY STAR specification use up to 95 percent less energy than conventional strings. Manufacturers wishing to use the ENERGY STAR symbol to promote qualified products must first apply to participate in the ENERGY STAR program in Canada.

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Residential Light Fixtures Now Part of ENERGY STAR in Canada

Residential light fixtures are now part of the ENERGY STAR program in Canada. As a result of an amendment to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations that came into effect on November 2, 2006, the ENERGY STAR symbol can be used by manufacturers and retailers to promote the sale of residential light fixtures that meet the program's technical specifications.

ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures can reduce electricity consumption and costs for lighting by about 66 percent compared to standard fixtures. Both indoor and outdoor light fixtures can qualify for ENERGY STAR, as can recessed downlight retrofit kits intended primarily for residential applications.

The regulatory amendment, which reduced the minimum power factor for ballasts used in residential light fixtures from 0.9 to 0.5 (the level used in the U.S.), means that many ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures manufactured abroad that were not previously available in Canada can now be sold here. As well, Canadian manufacturers of residential light fixtures that comply with the amended Regulations and meet the ENERGY STAR technical specifications can apply to promote and use the ENERGY STAR symbol for qualifying products.

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New ENERGY STAR Specification for Imaging Equipment

Manufacturers of printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, mailing machines and multi-function devices should be aware that these products have been rolled into a new ENERGY STAR specification for “imaging equipment” that comes into effect on April 1, 2007.

In addition to establishing new ENERGY STAR eligibility criteria and performance standards for some products, the new specification allows digital duplicators that meet the required energy consumption levels to qualify for ENERGY STAR. As a result, digital duplicators – products that digitally capture an image and then create a “master” from which multiple high-quality copies can be made – are now considered an office equipment product covered by ENERGY STAR in Canada.

Information on the new specification for imaging equipment will be posted shortly on Canada's ENERGY STAR web site. Until that time, you can consult the U.S. ENERGY STAR Web site.

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Commercial Cooking Products Added to ENERGY STAR Roster

Commercial fryers, commercial hot food holding cabinets and commercial steam cookers are all recent additions to the ENERGY STAR program in Canada (these products have been eligible for ENERGY STAR in the U.S. since August 2003).

To qualify for ENERGY STAR:

  • open deep-fat gas fryers must have a heavy load (french fry) cooking energy efficiency of greater than 50 percent and an idle energy rate of less than 9 000 Btu/h (based on a 38.1-cm/15-inch fryer)
  • open deep-fat electric fryers must have a heavy load (french fry) cooking energy efficiency of greater than 80 percent and an idle energy rate of less than 1 000 W (based on a 38.1-cm/15-inch fryer)
  • commercial hot food holding cabinets must have a maximum idle energy rate of 40 W per cubic metre (pi3) of interior volume
  • commercial electric steam cookers must have a heavy load (potato) cooking energy efficiency of at least 50 percent and idle energy rates of 400 W for 3-pan steamers, 530 W for 4-pan steamers, 670 W for 5-pan steamers, and 800 W for 6-pan steamers
  • commercial gas steam cookers must have a heavy load (potato) cooking energy efficiency of at least 38 percent and idle energy rates of 6 250 Btu/h for 3-pan steamers, 8 350  Btu/h for 4-pan steamers, 10 400 Btu/h for 5-pan steamers, and 12 500 Btu/h for 6-pan steamers

There are approximately 63 000 restaurants in Canada today, and commercial cooking equipment is also commonly found in bars, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, churches and institutional cafeterias. Because these appliances are used so frequently, significant energy and water savings are possible through the use of high-efficiency products.

Product definitions, test criteria and other technical requirements for ENERGY STAR qualification of commercial cooking equipment.

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Raising the Bar: New ENERGY STAR Spec for Computers Coming in July 2007

Presently 100 percent of all computers can meet the ENERGY STAR specifications. For that reason, new computer specifications have been developed to ensure that the technical specifications are up to 25 percent more energy-efficient than conventional models.

Currently, computers qualify for ENERGY STAR based on their ability to automatically switch into “sleep” mode when they are turned on but have not been actively used for a specific period of time. That's going to change on July 20, 2007, when a new ENERGY STAR specification comes into effect that includes strict energy efficiency requirements in active mode, as well as sleep mode.

To meet the new specification, desktop computers will have to be at least 80 percent efficient in active mode with additional requirements in idle and standby (deep sleep) mode (conventional products are typically only 65 to 70 percent efficient). Laptop computers are also covered by the new specification with separate requirements. To continue to qualify for ENERGY STAR after July 20, 2007, a laptop must have an ENERGY STAR qualified external power supply (which is on average 35 percent more energy efficient than a conventional model) and must use no more than 22 W of power in idle state, 1.7 W in sleep mode and 1 W in standby mode.

Information on the new specification for computers will be posted shortly on Canada's ENERGY STAR web site. Until that time, you can consult the U.S. ENERGY STAR Web site.

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EPA Developing New Product Specification for Commercial Dishwashers

The U.S. ENERGY STAR is seeking feedback from stakeholders on a proposed new ENERGY STAR specification for commercial dishwashers. The draft 2 specification was released on March 26, 2007, and includes a number of key changes.

For example:

  • definitions have been changed for some types of dishwashers, and a definition and performance requirements have been added for multiple tank conveyor dishwashers
  • pot, pan and utensil machines will be eligible to qualify for ENERGY STAR if they meet the performance requirements for stationary single-tank door type dishwashers
  • maximum idle energy rates have been proposed for all machine types (to be measured using the test procedures in ASTM Standards F1696 and F1920)

The draft specification also clarifies that commercial dishwashers that are interchangeable in the field between high-temp and low-temp operation must meet the performance requirements in both modes of operation to qualify for ENERGY STAR.

It is the position of ENERGY STAR in Canada that the level proposed will provide significant energy and water savings through the use of high-efficiency commercial dishwashers.

The Draft 2 Commercial Dishwasher Specification, Version 1.0 can be found on the U.S. ENERGY STAR Web site.

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ENERGY STAR Spec Being Revised for Commercial Solid Door Fridges/Freezers

ENERGY STAR® qualifying specification for Commercial solid door, self-contained refrigerators and freezers came into effect in Canada on September 1, 2006.

It should be noted that the most recent amendment to the Regulations of Canada's Energy Efficiency Act introduced minimum energy performance levels for both solid door and glass door refrigerators which came into effect on January 1, 2007. The new minimum energy performance levels are identical to the California Tier 1 and Tier II levels, the latter coming into effect on January 1, 2008. ENERGY STAR levels are 25 percent more energy-efficient than those prescribed by regulation.

In 2010, new federal minimum efficiency standards that will come into effect in the U.S. are equivalent to the existing ENERGY STAR levels for solid door refrigerators and freezers, providing additional impetus to update the specification.

The current ENERGY STAR specification is more than five years old and needs to be updated to ensure that qualified products continue to represent the top energy performers on the market. Work is underway to revise the ENERGY STAR specification for commercial solid door refrigerators and freezers.

As part of the process of establishing new performance levels for ENERGY STAR qualification, the U.S. ENERGY STAR will be considering the impact (if any) of changes to the two test procedures referenced in the specification for solid door refrigerators and freezers. As well, the ENERGY STAR in the U.S. is seeking stakeholder input on whether the ENERGY STAR temperature parameter for ice cream freezers should be revised from -5° F to -15° F, a move that would require retesting of equipment to determine whether the current ENERGY STAR performance level is appropriate.

Once the U.S. ENERGY STAR has completed its preliminary research, a draft of the proposed new specification will be released for review and comment. Natural Resources Canada will provide support to ensure that criteria revisions are relevant to Canadian market and encourage Canadian ENERGY STAR participants to participate and keep up to date with the revision process by visiting the U.S. ENERGY STAR Product Development Web page and clicking on “Revisions to Existing Product Specifications.”

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Signs of Progress – Products No Longer Part of ENERGY STAR in Canada

Expanding the list of products that can qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol is an ongoing job for Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency. But sometimes dropping a product from the ENERGY STAR line-up is also a sign of progress toward the ultimate goal of building a more energy-efficient economy. Such is the case with low-voltage dry-type commercial and industrial (C&I) transformers, exit signs and traffic signals.

Low-Voltage Dry-Type Transformers

The introduction of regulated minimum energy performance standards for low-voltage dry-type C&I transformers, which is equivalent to the current ENERGY STAR level, was included as part of the Amendment 9 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations, in November 2006. As of May 1, 2007, the U.S. ENERGY STAR Program will also discontinue the specification and will drop the list of products that can qualify for ENERGY STAR in Canada.

Low-voltage dry-type transformers are used to decrease the voltage of electricity received from a utility to the levels used to power lights, computers and other electrical equipment. They are widely used in the U.S. and Canada, but the combination of technology improvements and regulated minimum efficiency standards have significantly narrowed the gap between the best energy performers and those which meet minimum standards.

As a result of this decision, transformer manufacturers must cease using the ENERGY STAR name or symbol to promote the sale of previously qualified distribution transformers manufactured after April 30, 2007 (qualified products manufactured before that date can continue to use the symbol). As well, manufacturers of low-voltage distribution transformers can no longer refer to themselves as ENERGY STAR Participants.

Although low-voltage distribution transformers have been dropped from the ENERGY STAR line-up, ENERGY STAR has left the door open to developing a more stringent ENERGY STAR specification at some point in the future as transformer technologies evolve and improve.

Exit Signs and Traffic Signals

A proposal by Natural Resources Canada to remove exit signs and traffic signals from the list of products that can qualify for ENERGY STAR in Canada has been endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Exit signs have been removed from the list as a result of changes to the regulated minimum efficiency levels for these products, which was included as part of Amendment 9 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations in November 2006. The new minimum efficiency requirement is essentially equivalent to the ENERGY STAR qualification level for exit signs.

NRCan is also proposing to establish a minimum energy performance level for traffic signals, based on the current ENERGY STAR qualifying level, in the upcoming amendment to the Regulations.

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ENERGY STAR Labelling of Programmable Thermostats to be Replaced with Education Program

The U.S. ENERGY STAR program is moving forward with plans to suspend the programmable thermostat specification and replace with an ENERGY STAR consumer education program that will encourage homeowners to set back their thermostats at night and during the day when no one is at home.

As reported in the previous edition of ENERGY STAR News/Nouvelles, the ENERGY STAR program has determined that there is no conclusive evidence that consumers are actively using the set-back feature of programmable thermostats to save energy and money. After seeking and reviewing stakeholder feedback on a proposal to suspend the ENERGY STAR specification for programmable thermostats and focus instead on consumer education, the ENERGY STAR program has announced that use of the ENERGY STAR certification symbol for these products will cease as of May 1, 2008.

By extension, the use of the ENERGY STAR symbol for programmable thermostats will also cease in Canada on that date. The Canada's Survey of Household Energy Use (SHEU) also supports the U.S. findings, “… since nearly one out of every four programmable thermostats was not programmed in 2003.” For more details, the SHEU can be viewed on-line.

At the same time, the U.S. ENERGY STAR program plans to continue to educate consumers about the full range of thermostat technologies, with a particular emphasis on the use and benefits of programmable thermostats. ENERGY STAR in Canada is considering a similar approach as part of its new ecoENERGY Initiatives. More information on ecoENERGY.

The U.S. ENERGY STAR has also announced that it will support the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in developing a new quality standard for programmable thermostats. NEMA has indicated that ENERGY STAR partner manufacturers will be engaged in this process to help develop a consensus within the industry.

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Annual ENERGY STAR Participants' Meeting Postponed

Normally at this time of year, planning would be well advanced for the annual ENERGY STAR Participants' Meeting. Due to ongoing program changes within the OEE, however, there will not be a meeting this spring.

The OEE expects to host an ENERGY STAR participants' event – later in the year. Check the ENERGY STAR Web site on a regular basis for updates.

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Louis Marmen's departure from the Office of Energy Efficiency

After almost 26 years in the Department of Natural Resources Canada and 10 years as Director responsible for housing and equipment energy efficiency programs, Louis accepted a new job with the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) as Director, Gas Markets, effective April 18.

At the CGA Louis will be responsible for promoting natural gas in the context of sustainable development, working with member utilities and stakeholders from the public and private sectors. As a strong advocate of sustainable development, Louis will continue to be involved in the business, but from a non-government perspective.

Please join us in thanking Louis for his exceptional leadership and dedication, and wishing him all the best in his new role.

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Start to Explore! – Visit www.energystar.gc.ca

Want to find out everything there is to know about ENERGY STAR in Canada but didn't know who to ask? Chances are the information you need is just a click away, at www.energystar.gc.ca.

This is the address for the OEE's ENERGY STAR Web site, where you'll find a wealth of information about the program, including complete details about the full range of products that qualify for ENERGY STAR in Canada.

The site features a list of Frequently Asked Questions about ENERGY STAR, explains how ENERGY STAR is linked with the OEE's EnerGuide energy efficiency rating program, and provides information on consumer rebates and incentives for purchasing qualified products. It also offers a Purchasing Tool Kit designed to help procurement officers buy ENERGY STAR qualified equipment and an on-line calculator that can be used to compare ENERGY STAR qualified products with conventional equipment.

This is also where ENERGY STAR Participants can find the latest information on proposed or upcoming changes in the ENERGY STAR program in Canada, including changes in qualification criteria for specific products. All of this and much more is available at your fingertips on the official ENERGY STAR in Canada Web site. So visit www.energystar.gc.ca today – and don't forget to bookmark the site for easy future reference.

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Free Marketing Ideas and Resources for ENERGY STAR Participants

A “Participants only” Web site, which is password-protected and accessible only to organizations that have signed an Administrative Arrangement with Natural Resources Canada, contains great information to help you use and promote the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Just a quick reminder that this site offers free marketing ideas and resources to registered ENERGY STAR Participants. After logging on, select “Marketing Resources” to gain access to a wide range of tips, tools, slogans and ready-to-use advertisements to help you market ENERGY STAR qualified products.

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ENERGY STAR Account Manager Contact Information

Commercial Sector, General Information
Julie Doucet: 613-947-2319


E-mail

Fenestration Sector
Steve Hopwood: 613-995-6741

E-mail

Heating, Cooling Equipment
Anne Wilkins: 613-992-3900

E-mail

Major Appliances and Room Air Conditioners
Nancy Fecteau: 613-996-3768


E-mail

Office Equipment, Electronics
Isabelle Saint-Laurent: 613-996-6748

E-mail

Public Sector
Gisèle Maillet: 613-992-4535

E-mail

Retail Sector, Utilities, Lighting Equipment
Isabelle Guimont: 613-996-5281


E-mail