On August 15, 2017, the Regulation respecting the energy efficiency of electrical or hydrocarbon-fuelled appliances (Quebec Regulations) was amended in order to eliminate and reduce disparities with the energy efficiency regulatory requirements applicable to appliances at the federal level (Federal Regime).
The amendment to the Quebec Regulations notably extends the scope of appliances that it covers, in addition to increasing the stringency of the applicable standards.
In Canada, energy efficiency standards are both provincially and federally regulated. The federal government has jurisdiction to regulate energy efficiency standards on products involved in interprovincial trade and importation, and the Quebec government regulates energy efficiency standards applicable to products manufactured or sold within Quebec. Significant policy and regulatory developments with respect to energy efficiency recently occurred at both levels of government.
In April 2016, the Quebec government unveiled the 2030 Energy Policy, Energy in Québec: A Source of Growth (Energy Policy), setting out ambitious goals to be achieved by 2030 for Quebec with respect to reducing its carbon footprint (for more information, see our April 2016 Blakes Bulletin: Quebec’s Energy Policy: Ambitious Energy Goals for 2030).The amendment to the Quebec Regulations responds to one of the five key targets under the Energy Policy, which is to enhance energy efficiency by 15 per cent.
In addition, recent amendments were made in June 2017 to the Federal Regime in order to increase the stringency of the energy efficiency standards and further align the Federal Regime with the regulatory regime of the United States (for more information, see our June 2017 Blakes Bulletin: Canada’s New Energy Efficiency Regulations Come Into Force). In its previous form, the Quebec Regulations were not aligned with the Federal Regime since they only covered a limited list of appliances and because certain standards were not as stringent.
The significant overhaul of the Quebec Regulations is the first major reform since 1995. Significant changes were brought in order to align the Quebec Regulations with other jurisdictions’ requirements, which can be summarized as follows:
Scope of Products Covered by the Quebec Regulations
The amendment to the Quebec Regulations largely extends the scope of products covered. While certain categories of products have been added, categories that were already regulated under the previous Quebec Regulations were also modified to include additional products.
With respect to newly added categories, the Quebec Regulations now cover several electronic products. These include televisions, external power supplies, video products and compact audio products, which are now defined in a manner consistent with the Federal Regime. However, unlike the Federal Regime, the Quebec Regulations also apply to televisions that are marketed exclusively for commercial use and are without a tuner.
Examples of additional products now covered under the Quebec Regulations include (not an exhaustive list) ceiling fans, chillers, general service lamps, exit signs and dehumidifiers. These particular products were already covered under the Federal Regime.
Energy Efficiency Standards and Applicable Test Procedures
Similar to the Federal Regime, the Quebec Regulations require that covered products be tested and verified to ensure their compliance with listed energy performance standards. An energy efficiency verification mark issued by a certification body accredited by the Standards Council of Canada is also required to certify the compliance of the appliance with the Quebec Regulations. The stringency of the new energy efficiency standards have been increased under the Quebec Regulations.
The manufacturers of appliances covered by the Quebec Regulations are now required to keep an up-to-date register containing, among other information, the name of the certification body as well as all information that demonstrates the compliance of the appliance with the energy efficiency standards and energy performance requirements according to the appropriate test procedure. Recordkeeping was not a requirement under the previous version of the Quebec Regulations and is not currently required under the Federal Regime.
Manufacturers of electronic and hydrocarbon-fuelled appliances sold in Quebec must be cautioned that the amendment to the Quebec Regulations does not gradually come into force for most covered products. With the exception of six categories of appliances — external power supplies, general service fluorescent lamps, integrated clothes washer-dryers, clothes dryers, televisions and ceiling fans — the amendment to the Quebec Regulations summarized in this Bulletin now applies to all products manufactured since August 15, 2017. With regard to these six categories, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources announced on August 15, 2017 that it is currently in the process of postponing the manufacturing period from which the new requirements under the Quebec Regulations will be triggered. This amendment should be published in La Gazette officielle du Québec sometime soon but there is currently no clear indication as to which manufacturing period will apply for these particular appliances.
To a large extent, the new Quebec energy efficiency standards align with the Federal Regime. However, there are some differences (i.e., as noted above regarding televisions and recordkeeping).
This brief summary of key changes arising from the amendment to the Quebec Regulations is not intended to be exhaustive. Some of the changes are very technical in nature and parties that are conducting business in industries governed by the Quebec Regulations should be familiar with the full scope of the changes and the impact, if any, on their operations.