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March - April 2003

High Energy

Following the United States’ Lead?
Canada Considers ENERGY STAR® Labeling for Windows and Doors
by Kate Offringa

In May 2001, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) exchanged letters with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy authorizing NRCan to administer and promote the ENERGY STAR symbol in Canada.

“This initiative is part of the government of Canada’s overall commitment to reduce energy consumption and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions,” said Steve Hopwood, program officer for equipment standards and labeling at NRCan.

To date, the scope of products included in the ENERGY STAR program in Canada encompasses appliances, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, consumer electronics, home audio equipment, lighting and signage.

According to NRCan, more than 30 Canadian window and door manufacturers participate in the U.S. ENERGY STAR program.

NRCan is working now to develop ENERGY STAR criteria for windows and doors that will be appropriate for Canada’s climate and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Initially, only windows and sliding glass doors will be considered for ENERGY STAR criteria. Entry doors and skylights will follow upon reviews of product information and test standards.

NRCan has developed and circulated a proposal for ENERGY STAR criteria for fenestration products. It outlines two paths to ENERGY STAR qualification for three climate zones (see zone map below.) The final decision regarding zones and criteria will be made early in 2003 in anticipation of a proposed start date of April 1, 2003. 

The first qualification path is based on maximum U-factor requirements for each zone. This path does not include any solar heat gain coefficient values as criteria for qualification. The second qualification path is based on the Canadian Energy Rating (ER) system that incorporates both insulating values and solar heat gain measurements into one number. Because of the large difference in test sample sizes, there is an ER value for operable products and ER value for fixed products for each zone.

Proposed ENERGY STAR qualifying values for both paths in all three proposed Canadian climate zones are detailed in the chart on this page. It should be noted that the imperial equivalents to the metric values are given in brackets.

As in the United States, the ENERGY STAR fenestration program in Canada will focus, at least initially, on factory-built products for residential and light commercial application.

Kate Offringa is a program manager at the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, D.C. There she works on several projects including the Efficient Windows Collaborative.

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