energy

B.C. boosts energy efficiency standards

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The B.C. government has boosted energy efficiency standards to help save on energy costs and reduce pollution with the release of amendment 7 to the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation (EESR).

The update to the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation (EESR) will result in the reduction of 52,500 tonnes of CO2 in 2030 – the equivalent to taking 12,750 cars off the road – and will save 1.72 million gigajoules of energy in 2030.

Over the past two years, the seventh amendment to the EESR was proposed, consulted on, approved and ordered by the province. The amendment includes new and updated standards for residential windows, residential gas boilers and commercial gas boilers, as well as regulatory upkeep.

The EESR sets minimum energy performance standards at the point of sale and manufacture for products that use, control or impact energy use. These standards are frequently updated to ensure products in the B.C. marketplace continue to improve.

There have been six major amendments to British Columbia’s EESR since 2006. Amendment 7 delivers on CleanBC commitments to introduce new energy efficiency standards for space heaters and residential windows.

Residential boilers 

Residential boilers manufactured after Jan. 1, 2022 will be required to have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (ARUE) greater than or equal to 90 per cent efficient. The standard covers residential boilers and combo boilers. Product certification, labelling and reporting requirements are harmonized with the existing federal standards, as well as, the federal standards, which come into effect July 1, 2023.

Commercial sector 

The new standard requires small commercial gas boilers to have a thermal efficiency greater than 90 per cent. Large commercial gas boilers will be required to have a combustion efficiency greater than or equal to 90 per cent. The standard applies to products manufactured after January 1, 2023. The minimum energy performance standard aligns with the federal commercial boiler standard for the same products, which takes effect January 1, 2025. Regulated products must be certified by a designated tester or must have a valid report listed on the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance or the United States Department of Energy Compliance Certification Database that demonstrates compliance.

Refrigeration 

Refrigerators, combination refrigerators/freezers, and freezers are also part of amendment 7. The update makes minor revisions to the product definitions, efficiency standards and testing procedures. The update aligns the standard with the government of Canada, which applies to products imported into Canada or shipped between provinces.

Commercial Fenestration  

The update removes incoming requirements for NFRC CMA Label Certificates and retains the previous provision for commercial glazing to be listed on a certified product directory or verified by a designated tester. The update also clarifies the exemption for commercial fenestration installed in buildings built to the Energy Step Code.

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