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On April 21, HRAI delivered a progress report to members attending AHRI’s Unitary Regulatory Committee (URC) regarding the status of Canada’s regulatory harmonization with incoming U.S. DOE 2023 test standards.

As members may be aware, on January 6, 2017, the U.S. DOE published a Federal Register pertaining to central air conditioners and heat pumps for energy conservation standards. This introduced a new standard, with associated performance metrics, and prescribed more stringent Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for single package and split systems.  

The Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps – the M1 test procedure for short – provides a method of determining SEER2, EER2, HSPF2 and PW,OFFfor central air conditioners and heat pumps.

These new requirements will apply to products manufactured on or after January 1, 2023.

On March 5, NRCan delivered a presentation informing AHRI and HRAI manufacturer members that it is considering aligning Canadian regulations with the M1 energy performance test standard with the following adjustments to reflect Canadian climate conditions:

  • The optional -15°C (5°F) test point in the US DOE test procedure would become mandatory in Canadian regulations.
  • The HSPF2 metric that is used to evaluate compliance would be based on Climate Region V (for calculation of the performance metric in the test standard).

From NRCan’s perspective, making the optional -15°C (5°F) test point mandatory would provide Canadian consumers assurance that products will function reliably in cold climate conditions, particularly in Canada’s northern regions.

Some members voiced concerns that a mandatory test point would place unnecessary test and compliance burdens on manufacturers. On March 10, comments were submitted to NRCan in a joint AHRI-HRAI letter requesting NRCan to revise its initial proposal.

As part of a broader market study, NRCan fielded a questionnaire to Canadian manufacturers mid-March to better understand the Canadian central AC and heat pump market and to evaluate the costs and benefits of aligning with the incoming U.S. regulations. That market study, NRCan told HRAI, would be finalized March 31, 2021.

HRAI informed the URC that, over the coming weeks, it will engage NRCan to establish a timeline of regulatory harmonization with the 2023 standards and to resolve any outstanding issues or member concerns.

For more information, contact Stephen Chartrand at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 276, or email schartrand@hrai.ca