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Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in North America



To support the North American Energy Working Group's Expert Group on Energy Efficiency (NAEWG-EE), USDOE commissioned the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) to prepare a resource document comparing current standards, labels, and test procedure regulations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The resulting document reached the following conclusions: Out of 24 energy-using products for which at least one of the three countries has energy efficiency regulations, three products - refrigerators/freezers, split system central air conditioners, and room air conditioners - have similar or identical minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) in the three countries. These same three products, as well as three-phase motors, have similar or identical test procedures throughout the region. There are 10 products with different MEPS and test procedures, but which have the short-term potential to develop common test procedures, MEPS, and/or labels. Three other noteworthy areas where possible energy efficiency initiatives have potential for harmonization are standby losses, uniform endorsement labels, and a new standard or label on windows. This paper explains these conclusions and presents the underlying comparative data.

Introduction: Creation of NAEWG

The North American Energy Working Group (NAEWG) was established in the Spring of 2001 by the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, the Mexican Secretary of Energy, and the U.S. Secretary of Energy, to enhance North American energy cooperation. The Group is led by officials from Natural Resources Canada, the Mexican Secretariat of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Within the NAEWG, the Energy Efficiency Experts Group focuses onways to bring about closer cooperation and harmonized action in the three countries' energy efficiency programs (particularly the standards and labeling programs) -- to ensure the effectiveness of those programs in the North American economy without potentially adding costs. 

Authors: Stephen Wiel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Laura Van Wie McGrory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lloyd Harrington, Energy Efficient Strategies