ENERGY STAR Symbol

Questions & Answers about Changes to the ENERGY STAR® Specification for Clothes Washers and Residential-Style Commercial Clothes Washers

Why does ENERGY STAR qualification matter to me?

Why is the specification changing?

What is the difference between a regulated energy-performance standard and the ENERGY STAR specification?

What will happen to products that are currently ENERGY STAR qualified?

How will I know if a model qualifies under the old or the new specifications?

If a model qualifies under the old specification but does not meet the new one, does this mean the product is now considered a poor energy performer?

Will rebate offers be honoured regardless of whether the product qualifies under the new or old criteria?

Is the ENERGY STAR specification for these products the same in Canada and the United States?

Can we expect more changes?

Where can I get up-to-date information?

Why does ENERGY STAR qualification matter to me?

Qualification matters in several ways. ENERGY STAR qualified products:

  • are the most energy-efficient products available – they cost less to run. As energy prices increase, consumers can count on more efficient appliances to provide savings over time.
  • help protect the environment by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that utilities consume to provide energy. This reduction decreases greenhouse gas emissions and urban air pollution that contribute to climate change.
  • help Canadian businesses and institutions by lowering operating costs

Why is the specification changing?

Since the last introduction of new efficiency levels for clothes washers in July 2009, even more energy efficient models have come into the market. To ensure that the ENERGY STAR symbol identifies only the top performers, ENERGY STAR is changing the specifications.

What is the difference between a regulated energy-performance standard and the ENERGY STAR specification?

Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations establish minimum energy-performance standards and define test procedures to determine a product’s performance. To sell a product in Canada, a manufacturer must show that it meets the minimum standard.

ENERGY STAR is a separate initiative that uses an internationally recognized symbol to help consumers identify products that not only exceed the minimum energy performance requirements but are among the most energy efficient on the market.

What will happen to products that are currently ENERGY STAR qualified?

Some products will continue to qualify and some will not. Non-ENERGY STAR qualified products can be sold because they will still meet Canada’s minimum federal energy efficiency standard. Rebates may not be available, however, on models that cease to qualify.

How will I know if a model qualifies under the old or the new specifications?

Natural Resources Canada will update the clothes washer lists on its ENERGY STAR Web site (energystar.nrcan.gc.ca) on January 1, 2011 in addition to its routine updates. The updated list will identify models that meet the new specification. A second, separate list of models that met the previous specification but no longer qualify will be posted until April 1, 2011.

If a model qualifies under the old specification but does not meet the new one, does this mean the product is now considered a poor energy performer?

Not necessarily – for example, it may be in the efficiency mid-range. The best way to find out is to check the efficiency scale on the EnerGuide label to see how the model ranks in terms of efficiency among other models.

Will rebate offers be honoured regardless of whether the product qualifies under the new or old criteria?

ENERGY STAR is urging all rebating organizations, retailers and manufacturers to abide by the deadlines stated in this document. It is strongly advised that before finalizing a sale, that consumers check with the rebating organization to determine if the model is still eligible.

Is the ENERGY STAR specification for these products the same in Canada and the United States?

Yes. Canadian and American ENERGY STAR specifications are the same. The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are registered trademarks of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which establishes specifications. ENERGY STAR in Canada is administered by Natural Resources Canada through an agreement with the EPA. Because of the integrated nature of North American markets, Canada and the United States strive to harmonize energy efficiency standards, which facilitate setting ENERGY STAR specifications.

Can we expect more changes?

Yes. Canada and the United States continually update the standards for energy efficiency for large household appliances. The objective is to increase the number of highly energy-efficient products on the market and eliminate inefficient ones. ENERGY STAR specifications are updated periodically to ensure that the ENERGY STAR symbol identifies only products in the top 25 percent of energy performers.

Where can I get up-to-date information?

Visit "News" on Natural Resources Canada’s ENERGY STAR Web site at energystar.nrcan.gc.ca.