August 23, 2004

New Brunswick to outlaw energy-greedy appliances

The New Brunswick government is amending regulations under the provincial Energy Efficiency Act to ban the sale of low-efficiency appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves, which use abnormally high amounts of energy, especially electricity, compared to more efficient units.

The amendments will help bring the 1995 regulation up to date. They will not apply to any new appliances, manufactured prior to August 31, 2004, currently being offered for sale in stores. This will enable retailers to clear any existing inventory. The regulation also has no bearing on private sales of used appliances through such means as yard sales, newspaper ads, or through second-hand stores.

The amendments cover a wide range of appliances including stoves, refrigerators, freezers, clothes dryers, dishwashers, furnaces, heat pumps, florescent lamps, induction motors, swimming pool heaters, transformers, vending machines, water coolers and water heaters (both gas-fired and electric). They also set a new baseline for additional efforts by the province to continue to improve the efficiency with which it uses its own energy resources.

Energy Minister Bruce Fitch said the province has already committed to buying the most energy-efficient appliances available whenever possible, usually those meeting the Energy Star(r) rating level. He noted that the amendments better reflect the higher minimum standards that are becoming more commonplace among appliance and equipment manufacturers. "In the end, the biggest winners are the individual consumers and the environment," he said.

In its 2001 Energy Policy, the province committed to "expand the list of equipment regulated for energy efficiency levels in harmonization with other jurisdictions, support the development of energy efficiency standards on any additional equipment, and encourage the installation of high performance appliances."

Natural Resources Canada estimates that since regulations have been put in place nationally on appliances and equipment, they have prevented the release of 44 million tones of carbon dioxide (CO2) and reduced average energy consumption for those appliances by 10% from 1991 to 2002.

In formulating the new amendments, the provincial Energy Department consulted extensively with New Brunswick manufacturers and retailers, with other provincial and federal government departments, as well as the inter-departmental committee developing the Climate Change Action Plan.

Consultation was also carried out with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Heating and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, NB Power, and other utilities.

Information on specific equipment covered by the regulation can be obtained by calling the department at 506/453-6461.

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