Key Facts in Promoting EnerGuide and
The "Guarantee" and Testing Procedures
Behind every EnerGuide label and ENERGY STAR symbol are stringent testing procedures. All appliances are tested according to standards developed through the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The label and the symbol tell you that you are promoting more than the appliance to your customer. You are selling guarantees of energy performance and savings.
Testing: Quality Assurance for Your Customer
Understanding the Process
Product testing helps Canadians use less electricity, which is good for their pocketbooks and good for the environment.
Before a major household appliance or room air conditioner can carry an EnerGuide label, it must be tested. Standardized test procedures ensure that all appliances on the Canadian retail floor are tested according to the same criteria and that the EnerGuide rating is comparable from one label to another within the same class of products. The tests determine how much energy an appliance would use under average Canadian household conditions. They also ensure that the appliance meets the minimum energy efficiency performance levels set out by the Energy Efficiency Regulations.
The standards for testing are usually developed through the CSA consensus process. Participants in this process include manufacturers, federal and provincial/territorial energy efficiency regulators, electric utilities and consumer representatives who are knowledgeable in the product area.
The EnerGuide label shows the EnerGuide rating, which is measured by the manufacturer (or testing body) using common (consistent) testing procedures. A recognized national standards agency establishes these procedures. The label means that you are selling assurances about energy performance and savings.
Manufacturers or dealers can send their prototype to an accredited testing laboratory such as CSA International, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Intertek Testing Services Inc., Intertek Testing Services Ltd., or the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. They can also test it at their own facilities. If manufacturers choose to do their own testing, one of the agencies will verify that the facilities and test methods comply with required standards.
Manufacturers can choose one of three ways to have a product tested:
- at the manufacturer's testing facility;
- at an independent testing facility; or
- by a certification organization that Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recognizes.
For choices 1 and 2, the testing facility must be approved by an NRCan-recognized certification organization that is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada and be recognized by NRCan as an administrator of an energy performance verification program.
Harmonizing the standards
The governments of Canada and the United States work together to ensure that standards and testing procedures are the same, or similar, in both countries. For all appliances with the EnerGuide label, test procedures are essentially harmonized.