Program for the regulation of thermal energy meters

Table of contents

Note that all dates and timelines are currently tentative and will be confirmed as the program advances.

Type approval

All thermal energy meters used in trade will be required to have been type approved. Measurement Canada (MC) grants a type approval for a particular class, type or design of measuring device once that class, type or design complies with all applicable legal requirements. In the case of thermal energy meters, the applicable legal requirements are the Terms and Conditions for the Approval of Thermal Energy Meters.

The first device approvals will be completed under a pilot program. Thermal energy meters will be divided into three categories based on the capacity of the flow sensor used in the device: low flow, medium flow and high flow. MC will accept three applications for approval in each of these three categories. No manufacturer may apply more than once to each category. Each category will be addressed successively, starting with the low flow category. Notices of approval (NOAs) will only be issued once all the devices in a category have been evaluated. Applications to the pilot program will be processed on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants may be required to provide access to suitable test facilities and equipment in cases where MC does not have the equipment to fully evaluate their device's parameters. At the completion of the pilot program, all applications will be accepted.

It is anticipated that MC will begin accepting applications to the type approval pilot program in late 2017 or early 2018.

New installations must use an approved meter starting .

Initial inspections

MC inspectors will perform initial inspections as a temporary measure until the establishment of alternative service delivery (ASD) programs for thermal energy meters. This will allow MC to build expertise in this sector and validate the inspection procedures before handing the work over to authorized service providers (ASPs). The intention is that each installation will be evaluated by an inspector. The purpose of inspections is to:

After the inspection is conducted, any mandated inspection marks and seals are applied.

Given the limited scope of these inspections, it is anticipated that they will take no more than one hour per device to complete.

Not all aspects of device performance can be evaluated on site. As such, device owners will be required to supply a device calibration certificate from an MC-recognized test facility showing that the device performs within applicable tolerances. This recognition will be governed under an ASD program. See the Alternative Service Delivery section for additional details.

MC uses private sector ASPs to perform initial and subsequent inspections of many other device types and trade sectors. This will be extended to cover thermal energy meters. MC will require all ASPs to undergo training and meet the requirements of the ASD program. See the Alternative Service Delivery section for more details.

Mandatory periodic inspections

Mandatory periodic inspections were recommended in the trade sector review. These inspections require each installed device to be reinspected at a certain interval. However, further investigation has shown that this may only be cost effective for high power meters or at higher energy prices. Therefore, mandatory periodic inspections will not be addressed until MC can better determine the long-term device performance and the cost to the consumer.

Alternative service delivery

MC will expand its ASD programs to include the initial inspection of thermal energy meters by ASPs. These activities are covered under MC's Accreditation Program and Registration Program, which will be modified to include thermal energy meters. These programs are currently used for many other types of measuring devices. Applicants will be required to undergo training provided by MC on device inspection procedures and legal metrology requirements.

MC will create a new program which will allow for the recognition of device calibration certificates as part of the initial inspection. The criteria for the recognition of these certificates will be similar to those used for gas meters outlined in MC's bulletin G-16— Recognition of Test Data From Gas Meter Test Facilities. Each installed device will be required to have been issued a recognized calibration certificate in order to be certified.

Expansion to the RT-01— Conditions and Administrative Requirements for the Recognition of Test Results from ISO 17025 Accredited Test Facilities program, which allows for the acceptance of approval test results from ISO 17025 accredited test facilities, will be considered at a later date.

Implementation timetable and important dates

The implementation timetable indicates the dates on which MC will begin enforcing these requirements. The requirements will be phased in over a long period to allow device owners and users enough time to adapt to the new regulations.

Implementation timetable and important dates
Dates / time frame Goal
  • Terms and Conditions posted to MC website
  • Pilot program for type approvals begins
  • Evaluation of devices under the type approval pilot program
  • First NOAs issued
  • Type approval applications opened to all applicants
  • New installations must use approved meters
  • New meter installations must be initially inspected
  • ASD program allowing ASPs to perform initial inspections begins
  • Withdrawal of MC initial inspection services as ASPs are accredited or registered
  • Subsequent inspection of devices installed prior to 2021 to check for accuracy and proper installation
  • All unapproved meters to be removed from service

Already installed devices

Devices installed prior to the requirement to use an approved meter (tentatively, 2021) will be allowed to remain in service until 2026. After that date, MC will begin requiring their removal and replacement with an approved meter.

In the interim period from 2021 to 2026, MC reserves the right to perform inspections of all installed thermal energy meters, whether or not approved. If an unapproved meter is inspected, it will be allowed to remain in service until 2026, provided that its performance is satisfactory.

Complaints and disputes

Where MC receives a complaint regarding the accuracy of a thermal energy meter, efforts will be made to resolve the situation without removing the meter from service. If the problem cannot be identified and meter removal is required, the meter will be tested at MC's laboratory or a third-party facility. The cost for this service will be allocated based on the results of the testing. The meter owner will bear the costs if the meter is outside the limits of error and the complainant will bear the costs if it is within the limits of error.

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