Ottawa toughening energy efficiency regulations by 2020

The Canadian government is moving to make a greater number of household and commercial products more energy efficient by 2020, announced Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr ahead of today's G7 energy ministers meeting in Japan.

Proposed changes would result in estimated net savings of $1.6B by 2030

The federal government is proposing to make some 20 products, including oil and gas furnaces, more energy efficient by 2020. (Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press)

The federal government will toughen regulations on a greater number of household and commercial products to require them to be more energy efficient by 2020, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced ahead of Monday's G7 energy ministers meeting in Japan.

The proposed changes would reduce energy consumption and align Canada's standards with the U.S., a commitment made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his official visit to the White House last month.

"These proposed updates will reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Canada and help consumers and businesses save money," said Carr in a written statement Monday.

The list of products includes:

  • Residential clothes washers and dryers.
  • Dishwashers.
  • Freezers.
  • Refrigerators.
  • Room ​air conditioners.
  • Central air conditioners and heat pumps.
  • Oil-fired storage water heaters.
  • Packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps.
  • Chillers.
  • Commercial refrigeration.
  • Refrigerated beverage vending machines.
  • Commercial ice-makers.
  • Electric motors.
  • Fluorescent lamps.
  • Incandescent reflector lamps.
  • Ceiling fans.
  • Oil and gas furnaces.
  • Microwave ovens.
  • Pool heaters.
  • Battery chargers.

The proposed regulations were published Saturday in the Canada Gazette, the official newspaper for the publication of new or proposed regulations and other notices from the government of Canada.

The announcement comes as Carr is attending the G7 energy ministers meeting in Kitakyushu, Japan.

"Natural Resources Canada, estimates that, as of January 2016, Canada's regulations align with less than 50 per cent of product categories regulated in the United States," said the government publication.

According to analysis provided by the Department of Natural Resources, the net benefit of bringing some 20 products in line with U.S. standards would exceed the costs by a ratio of five to one.

Making these products more energy efficiency would cost Canadian consumers and businesses approximately $384 million by 2030, resulting in net savings of $1.6 billion within a decade.

To date, Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — an objective set by the previous Conservative government. 

The Trudeau government has said this goal represents "a floor" and not "a ceiling" for what Canada can achieve.

Ottawa is taking the next six months to consult with the provinces and territories to come up with a federal climate change plan.

Canadians have 75 days to provide comments before the first in a series of draft regulations are published.

"Input received during these informal consultations will be considered as the regulations are drafted," Carr said.