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What you need to know!

The province of Alberta has issued a STANDATA interpretation on applicability for section 9.36 of the National Building Code referenced in the Alberta Building Code. Effective Nov 1, 2016 the code specified a minimum efficiency level for ACs and HPs of 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER.

 As previously reported:

  1. Easily 90% of all AC systems 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. Therefore, if a permit is pulled when installing an AC unit, the efficiency must meet a minimum of 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER.

HRAI, on behalf of members, petitioned Alberta Municipal Affairs, requesting additional time to sell any remaining inventory of 13 SEER units. Subsequently, staff from the Public Safety Division, Alberta Municipal Affairs provided guidance that the energy codes apply to new construction only and that for add-on or replacement, the energy codes do not apply to that equipment, as that equipment is regulated under the performance levels for the federal Energy Efficiency Act.  

This month the Alberta Municipal Affairs issued a STANDATA that allows for the installation of split-system air-conditioners in existing houses for which a building permit was issued before November 1, 2016, without having to meet Section 9.36, 14.5 SEER requirements as long as energy performance of existing building is not decreased. This official interpretation corresponds with the previous guidance message HRAI received from the Ministry.   For your information, visit: http://www.municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca/documents/14-BCI-021-ApplicationOf9_36_EnergyEfficiencyRequirementsToExistingBuildings.pdf

For more information contact Caroline Czajko cczajko@hrai.ca or Chang Lee clee@hrai.ca