HRAI to meet with Natural Resources Canada to better understand Ministerial Regulations Authority

On December 21, 2022, NRCan published Amendment 17 to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations to align energy efficiency requirements for central air conditioners and central heat pumps with the new U.S. DOE Appendix M1 requirements, which came into force January 1, 2023.  

As members may be aware, Amendment 17 brought into force the Ministerial Regulations Authority, which specifies 60 energy-using products, including central air conditioners and central heat pumps.  

The “ministerial regulations are limited in use for the purpose of maintaining the harmonization of requirements for energy efficiency standards and testing standards in the Regulations, and information that must be provided by dealers under Section 5 of the Energy Efficiency Act, with requirements of another jurisdiction (usually the United States).” 

This authority only applies to the specified products under Amendment 17 “for which the alignment with the energy efficiency standard, testing standard or information already exists.” 

NRCan’s rationale is that the “ministerial regulations will give NRCan the means to update the Regulations in a more time-efficient manner … [and] reduce the time to implement an amendment at both prepublication and publication stages.” 

This is a welcome development for the HVACR industry and one which HRAI has advocated for on behalf of members since NRCan announced Amendment 17 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations. 

While regulatory harmonization of energy efficiency standards, particularly between Canada and the United States, is a major priority for HRAI members, it needs to be accomplished in a timely manner and with little disruption to trade and industry.  

However, the regulatory text doesn’t explain how exactly the Ministerial Regulations will be used. Its purpose is clear. But the process is not.  

For example, on January 5, 2023, in response to the guidance document HRAI-AHRI submitted to NRCan prior to the final publication of Amendment 17, Minister Wilkinson’s office informed HRAI to “expect to see more nimble regulatory tools to prevent unintended misalignment and to fix or maintain alignment, such as Ministerial Regulations, Technical Standards Documents, and an increase in the use of ambulatory incorporation-by-reference of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.”   

The minister’s office told HRAI that further details will be provided in the next publication of NRCan’s Forward Regulatory Plan.  

Again, this is a welcome development, but our members need to better understand how the Ministerial Regulations and these additional tools will be implemented, what the process will look like, and what we can do to ensure the proper information and communication channels are in place between NRCan and the HVACR industry.  

This is particularly pressing as we head into 2023 with Amendments 18/19 and a slate of DOE rulemakings coming down the pipeline. 

HRAI will meet with NRCan this week to ask these questions on behalf of members.  

An update will follow in the next edition of HRAI’s newsletter. 

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Stephen Chartrand at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 276 or email  

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