Winter/Spring 2009

ENERGY STAR News/Nouvelles is a quarterly newsletter from Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE). Our goal is to keep you informed about new developments and activities related to ENERGY STAR, the international symbol of energy efficiency. Please share this newsletter with your colleagues, or encourage them to contact us directly to be added to our mailing list.

In This Issue…

New ENERGY STAR Specifications for Four Electronic Products

Set-top boxes

Set-top boxes are the latest electronic product to be added to the ENERGY STAR lineup in Canada. The new addition was among a series of changes announced late in 2008 that also saw the ENERGY STAR specifications updated for three other electronic products.

A set-top box is a cable, satellite, Internet Protocol (IP) or other device that receives television signals from a specific source and delivers them to a television or recording device. Set-top boxes that meet the ENERGY STAR specification, defined in the tables below, will be at least 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models. The Tier 1 specification came into effect on January 1, 2009 (the Tier 2 criteria are preliminary and will be finalized at least nine months prior to their effective date of January 1, 2011). Game consoles, digital television adapters and IP set-top boxes sold or provided outside of a dedicated service or service contract are excluded from Tier 1 but may be included in Tier 2.

Base Functionality Annual Energy Allowance

Base Functionality Tier 1 Annual
Energy Allowance
Tier 2 Annual
Energy Allowance
Cable 70 50
Satellite 88 56
IP 45 36
Terrestrial 27 22
Thin-Client/Remote 27 22

Additional Functionalities Annual Energy Allowance

Additional Functionalities Tier 1 Annual
Energy Allowance
Tier 2 Annual
Energy Allowance
Additional Tuners 53 16
Additional Tuners – Terrestrial /IP 14 8
Adv. Video Processing 18 12
DVR 60 32
High Definition 35 12
Removable Media Player 12 8
Removable Media Player/ Recorder 23 10
Multi-Room 44 25
CableCARD 15 TBD
Home Network Interface 20 10

New ENERGY STAR specifications are also in place for televisions, telephony products and external power adapters, effective November 1, 2008. Highlights are provided below:


  • The new specification for televisions (Version 3.0) introduces maximum energy use requirements when a television is turned on, as well as when it is turned off. The power requirements in active mode vary based on screen size and resolution. When turned off, regardless of screen size or resolution, sets must consume 1 watt or less to qualify for ENERGY STAR. Tier 2 specifications, which have not yet been defined, will come into effect on September 1, 2010.

External power supplies

  • In the new specification for external power supplies (Version 2.0), the power factor requirement has been revised to apply only to testing at 115 volts; any product tested at the 230 volt test condition does not have to meet a power factor requirement at that voltage. Additional changes have been made that will come into effect when the latest specifications for computers and imaging equipment take effect.

Telephony Products

  • In the case of telephony products (Version 2.1), the specification has been modified so that any external power supply used in conjunction with an ENERGY STAR qualified telephony product must meet only the active efficiency and power factor requirements (and not the no-load requirement) of the ENERGY STAR specification for external power supplies (Version 2.0). As well, certain standard test conditions have been harmonized with other ENERGY STAR electronics specifications.

More information about each of these specifications is available at or by contacting Lydia Aouani at 613-947-1219 or E-mail.


VCR Specification Discontinued

VCRs have been dropped from the ENERGY STAR program effective November 1, 2008, a sign of changing times in the consumer electronics field. The change also affects TV/VCR combinations.

In recent years, VCRs have largely been replaced in the marketplace by other video recording and display devices, such as DVD and Blu-ray disc players. While many Canadians continue to have VCRs in the home, sales of new units have declined dramatically and many manufacturers no longer produce this type of equipment. Due to the small number of models currently available and low sales across North America, the decision was made to eliminate the ENERGY STAR specification for this product.

Retailers were permitted to continue to display the ENERGY STAR symbol on in-stock VCRs and TV/VCR combinations for a period of two months after the change came into effect. As of May 1, 2009, however, the ENERGY STAR symbol can no longer be shown on unsold models.


Canada Adopts ENERGY STAR Spec for Domestic Water Heaters

Canada has adopted an ENERGY STAR specification for water heating equipment. The specification took effect on January 1, 2009, and covers five product classes:

  • gas storage water heaters must have an Energy Factor (EF) of 0.62 or higher (increases to an EF of 0.67 or higher effective September 1, 2010) and a First-Hour Rating (FHR) of at least 254 litres hour
  • gas tankless water heaters must have an EF of 0.82 or higher and be able to produce at least 9.5 litres of hot water per minute over a 42.8°C rise
  • condensing gas storage units must have an EF of 0.80 or higher and an FHR of at least 254 litres per hour
  • heat pump water heaters must have an EF of 2.0 or higher and an FHR of at least 190 litres per hour
  • solar water heaters must have a net solar energy contribution equivalent to 7.0 gigajoules or higher per year

The specification also includes minimum requirements for product warranties. A draft of the ENERGY STAR specification for water heaters was circulated in May 2008 and comments were received from approximately 30 individuals and organizations. This feedback was taken into account in finalizing the specification, complete details of which can be found at

The ENERGY STAR program contact for this product category is Stéphane LeBlanc, who can be reached at 613-947-2319 or by e-mail


Tougher ENERGY STAR Requirements for Clothes Washers

Continued improvements in the energy efficiency of residential and residential-style commercial clothes washers has resulted in a strengthening of the ENERGY STAR specification for this product category to ensure that only the top performers on the market can use the symbol.

As of July 1, 2009, the requirements for ENERGY STAR qualification will be a minimum Modified Energy Factor (MEF) of 50.97 L/kWh/cycle (1.8 ft³/kWh/cycle) and a maximum Water Factor (WF) of 1.0 L/cycle/L (7.5 gal/cycle/ft³) the current requirement is a minimum MEF of 48.45 L/kWh/cycle (1.72 ft³/kWh/cycle) - and a maximum WF of 1.07 L/cycle/L (8.0 gal/cycle/ft³).

The ENERGY STAR specification will change again on January 1, 2011, when the requirements will be further strengthened to a minimum MEF of 56.63 L/kWh/cycle (2.0 ft³/kWh/cycle) and a maximum WF of 0.80 L/cycle/L (6.0 gal/cycle/ ft³).The new specification applies only to standard sized (larger than 45 litres/1.6 cubic feet) front-and top-loading clothes washers.


Dishwashers Must Meet New Requirements to Qualify for ENERGY STAR

The ENERGY STAR specification for dishwashers has been overhauled to replace the current qualification criteria with two new requirements.

As of August 11, 2009, dishwashers must meet both a maximum total annual energy consumption (TAEC) requirement and a maximum water factor (WF) requirement to qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol. The previous specification required dishwashers to meet a minimum Energy Factor, which is no longer applicable.


  • standard dishwashers (models with a capacity of eight or more place settings plus six serving pieces) must have a maximum TAEC of 324 kWh/year and a maximum WF of 21.96 litres/cycle (5.8 gallons per cycle)
  • compact dishwashers (models with a capacity of less than eight place settings and six serving pieces) must have a maximum TAEC of 234 kWh/year and a maximum WF of 15.14 litres/cycle (4.0 gallons per cycle)

The qualification criteria for dishwashers will be further strengthened in two years.

As of July 1, 2011:

  • standard dishwashers will be required to have a maximum TAEC of 307 kWh/year and a maximum WF of 18.93 litres/cycle (5.0 gallons per cycle)
  • compact dishwashers will be required to have a maximum TAEC of 222 kWh/year and a maximum WF of 13.25 litres/cycle (3.5 gallons per cycle)


Basic Facts About Residential Lighting

Natural Resources Canada has updated its popular fact sheet on residential lighting to reflect new technology developments. The six-page fact sheet aims to help consumers understand their lighting options by discussing the different products available and explaining technical terms such as lumens (a measure of light output), watts (a measure of energy use) and luminous efficacy/efficiency (the ratio of light produced to energy consumed). It also contains information on the Government of Canada's plan to phase-out inefficient lighting by introducing national standards for lighting efficiency by 2012.

ENERGY STAR features prominently in the document, which advises consumers that "One of the best ways to sort through the wide selection of bulbs and fixtures available today is to look for products that have the ENERGY STAR symbol." The fact sheet underscores the financial and environmental benefits of purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified lighting products, which are sold at retail outlets across Canada. In a typical home, replacing all incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs and fixtures could save the homeowner as much as $125 a year in electricity costs.

Entitled Basic Facts About Residential Lighting, the new fact sheet is available on the ENERGY STAR website.


Lighting for Tomorrow Announces 2008 Winners, Launches 2009 Competition

Innovative, attractive and functional lighting designs from a range of manufacturers have been recognized as energy efficiency winners in the 2008 Lighting for Tomorrow competition.

Lighting for Tomorrow was created to encourage manufacturers to produce a range of new lighting fixtures that save consumers money by using less electricity, complement home décor and provide high-quality light. The competition is organized by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Lighting Association. Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts following extensive testing by the Department of Energy.

Nearly 40 indoor and outdoor lighting fixture families competed for the honour of appearing in the Lighting for Tomorrow Yearbook, with 14 being selected as award winners. In the indoor category, three designs were selected as Lighting for Tomorrow winners and one – the Brigantine Maxlite – was awarded the grand prize. The 2008 competition also included a new category for recessed downlights, in which two winners and one honourable mention were awarded.

In addition to being featured in the Lighting for Tomorrow Yearbook, the winning entries are promoted by energy efficiency organizations across Canada and the U.S., some of which offer financial incentives for the purchase of these energy-saving fixtures. Natural Resources Canada was one of four Canadian sponsors for the 2008 competition, along with BC Hydro, Hydro-Québec and the Ontario Power Authority.

In the solid state lighting competition, three companies received awards for innovative lighting fixtures that combine the best current LED technology with innovative designs to provide high-quality, energy-efficient lighting for specific uses throughout the home.

The 2009 Lighting for Tomorrow competition is focusing on dimming fluorescent products and solid state lighting applications. The deadline for entries is April 24, with winners to be announced at the American Lighting Association Annual Conference in Palos Verdes, California, in September.

For more information about the 2008 winners and complete guidelines and rules for the 2009 competition, visit


Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations Amended

New minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) have been regulated for a range of products as a result of recent amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations. Amendment 10 came into force on December 12, 2008, and affects the following products:

  • residential gas furnaces
  • residential dehumidifiers
  • residential dishwashers
  • residential wine chillers
  • commercial ice-makers
  • commercial clothes washers
  • commercial and industrial gas unit heaters
  • torchieres (floor lamps)
  • ceiling fan lighting
  • traffic signal and pedestrian modules
  • general service lamps (common light bulbs) in 2012

The amendments increase the stringency of existing MEPS for four products and introduce new MEPS for seven previously unregulated products. Amendment 10 also introduces new requirements for the energy performance labelling of common lighting products.

The Energy Efficiency Regulations, which came into effect in February 1995, establish minimum energy performance requirements for products imported or shipped interprovincially for sale or lease in Canada. With Amendment 10, the Regulations now apply to some 30 types of energy-using products.

This is the first of three planned amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations to deliver energy, greenhouse gas and air pollutant reductions as part of Canada's Clean Air Regulatory Agenda. Additional information is available on the Web site.


Annual ENERGY STAR Participants Meeting Set for May 25th in Ottawa

The Fairmont Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa will again be the site of the next ENERGY STAR Participants Meeting, scheduled for May 25, 2009.

The annual get-together is hosted by Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency. It attracts ENERGY STAR Participants from across Canada to share information, learn about new initiatives and technical specifications, brainstorm new ideas and celebrate the successes of the past year.

Details of the 2009 event are still being finalized, and Participants are encouraged to visit for registration information and regular agenda updates.

The 2009 ENERGY STAR Market Transformation Awards will be presented at a special luncheon at the Participants Meeting. The awards recognize companies and organizations that have surpassed the competition in offering Canadian consumers the most energy-efficient product, technology or service available on the market. The deadline to submit a nomination was March 6, 2009.

The award categories are:

  • ENERGY STAR Manufacturer of the Year (single product or multiple products)
  • ENERGY STAR Retailer of the Year (national or regional)
  • ENERGY STAR Advocates - Utilities (large or local), distributors or general promoters, including governments or non-government organizations


NRCan and Partners Tackle Standby Power Use

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is continuing to work with a broad range of stakeholders to address the growing problem of standby power consumption by electronic products.

Standby power refers to the energy used by many consumer electronic products even when they turned off. Standby power may be needed to operate features such as clocks, timers and touch pads, or to receive signals from remote controls. So many devices now use standby power that it accounts for as much as 10 percent of all electricity used in the typical Canadian home.

ENERGY STAR has tackled the problem in part by making energy consumption in standby mode a key qualifying criteria for electronic products. Some types of ENERGY STAR qualified consumer electronics use up to 75 percent less electricity than conventional products when they are turned off.

However, the number of devices drawing standby power is large and growing – a trend that is turning standby power into a big problem in Canada, as in other parts of the world. In July 2007, the Government of Canada announced that it would regulate minimum performance standards for standby power use for some consumer products. Canada's action plan for standby power supports the "1-Watt Initiative" promoted by the International Energy Agency, which urges a one-watt standby power limit for all energy-using products.

Canada's regulations for standby power will be implemented in two stages. A draft of the first standard requiring standby limits for consumer electronics was circulated in early 2009, and NRCan is now reviewing feedback received from stakeholders. A final draft of the standard should be completed by this summer. More stringent standards will follow at a later date.

In the meantime, the Standby Power Advisory Committee established in 2007 is exploring other ways to address standby power use. Co-chaired by NRCan and the ElectroFederation of Canada, the Committee is responsible for developing and implementing awareness campaigns and providing advice to the government on activities related to standby power. Its members include utility companies, industry, provincial governments and environmental non-government organizations.

A Canadian working group has also been established to address standby power use by certain consumer electronic products that, for technical or other reasons, cannot be regulated at this time. Among other activities, it is considering ways to help service providers adopt ENERGY STAR specifications for set-top boxes. The group is seeking to extend its membership and to tackle new challenges in the field of consumer electronics.


ENERGY STAR Spec Proposed for HRVs/ERVs

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is developing an ENERGY STAR specification for packaged heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) used primarily in residential installations.

Under the proposed specification, HRVs and ERVs would qualify for ENERGY STAR by meeting a minimum Sensible Recovery Efficiency (SRE) and a minimum fan efficiency requirement (see the table below). Qualified equipment would also have to come with a minimum one-year warranty.

Minimum Sensible Recovery Efficiency (SRE)
@ 0°C supply temperature 60%
@ -25°C supply temperature 55%
Minimum Fan Efficacy with 0°C supply temperature
SRE less than 75% 1.0 cfm/W
SRE 75% or greater Any cfm/w

The proposed effective date for the specification is July 1, 2009. A second tier of more stringent requirements would come into effect on July 1, 2012.

Data from the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), has been used to develop the specification. More than 30 percent of HRVs/ERVs currently sold in Canada would meet the proposed ENERGY STAR specification.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the final draft specification by mid-March. (An earlier draft was circulated for review in December 2008). Interested parties should send their comments to (unless otherwise requested, all comments will be considered public).

For more information on the HRV/ERV specification, contact Brian Killins by e-mail.


Please Identify ENERGY STAR Qualified Fenestration Products It's Important!

Over the past several months, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has received a number of complaints from consumers and administrators of grant and incentive programs about the failure of some manufacturers and retailers to properly identify ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and skylights. This has resulted in some consumers being denied grants, incentives or tax breaks to which they would otherwise be entitled.

The problem is so widespread that NRCan is making the Fenestration Qualification Label (FQL) mandatory effective September 1, 2009 on all registered production models. Manufacturers that do not comply may have their fenestration products de-listed from the ENERGY STAR program.

NRCan wishes to remind manufacturers and retailers about the importance of properly identifying qualified products through the use of the ENERGY STAR FQL, as well as the label required by the agency that certified the product.

In addition, invoices to customers should clearly indicate for each qualified model:

  • the fact that the model is ENERGY STAR qualified
  • the correct zone or zones of qualification
  • the model code as found on the NRCan website or the NRCan Reference Number

Example: Casement ENERGY STAR Zones ABC EE999-11

The use of private label brands has also led to some confusion in the fenestration marketplace. Private label brands are products marketed under a brand name that shows no connection to the actual manufacturer.

Fenestration products that are ENERGY STAR qualified and registered under the manufacturer’s name must also be registered under the private label brand in order to be qualified under that brand name. There are no additional costs to doing this (unless the products have been modified in some way). It is also possible to register models only under the private label brand should manufacturers wish to do so.

For more information, please contact Steve Hopwood at 613-995-6741 or by e-mail.


NRCan Staffing Announcement

Anne Wilkins, Chief of the Equipment Labelling Program, has accepted a one-year assignment at NRCan's Canada Centre for Remote Sensing – Geomatics Canada, effective November 2008. Kathy Deeg, formerly an ENERGY STAR account manager, will replace her in the interim.

The ENERGY STAR team has expanded. Please consult the listing below to find the name and coordinates of your Account Manager.



Acting Chief:
Kathy Deeg – 613-947-5001 or E-mail
Commercial Sector:
Sherry Graves-Morrison: – 613-943-9226 or E-mail
Fenestration Sector
Steve Hopwood: – 613-995-6741 or E-mail
Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Equipment; Water Heaters:
Stéphane Leblanc – 613-947-2319 or E-mail
Office Equipment; Electronics:
Lydia Aouani – 613-947-1219 or E-mail
Major Appliances:
Nancy Fecteau – 613-996-3768 or E-mail
Public and Institutional Sectors:
Gisèle Maillet: 613-992-4535 or E-mail
Utilities and Lighting Equipment Sectors:
Isabelle Guimont – 613-996-5281 or E-mail
Technical Advisor and General Information:
Mohammed Khai – 613-995-3753 or E-mail