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Alberta has recently adopted the National Building Code section 9.36 into the Alberta Building Code, which was implemented May 1, 2016 and will start to be enforced Nov 1, 2016. In section 9.36 the NBC specifies minimum efficiency for ACs and HPs = 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER.

Enforcement begins on Nov 1, 2016.

Note:

  1. Easily 90% of all ACs sold in Alberta are add-on business, not replacement, meaning that these are for homes that did NOT previously have air conditioning;
  2. Under the Alberta Safety Codes Act and Permit Regulations, an Electrical Permit is required to install, alter or add to an electrical system. Since most AC systems are NEW (see previous point), contractors are ADDING to an electrical system according to inspectors and must pull a permit; and
  3. Any time a permit is pulled, the work being done must comply with the latest building code. So, if a permit is pulled when installing an AC unit, the efficiency must be 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER.

Therefore, in most cases, ACs being installed in Alberta as of Nov 1, 2016 MUST meet a minimum of 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER.  HRAI is in the process of determining what impact this might have on distributors and manufacturers and will determine if members would like HRAI to petition Alberta Municipal Affairs, requesting additional time to sell any remaining inventory of 13 SEER units on their behalf.

For more information contact:  Muhammad Bilal at HRAI mbilal@hrai.ca