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The North American Energy Working Group (NAEWG) was established in 2001 by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The goals of NAEWG are to foster communication and cooperation on energy-related matters of common interest, and to enhance North American energy trade and interconnections consistent with the goal of sustainable development, for the benefit of all three countries. At its outset, NAEWG established teams to address different aspects of the energy sector. One, the Energy Efficiency Expert Group, undertook activity in three areas: 1) analyzing commonalities and differences in the test procedures of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and identifying specific products for which the three countries might consider harmonization; 2) exploring possibilities for increased mutual recognition of laboratory test results; and 3) looking at possibilities for enhanced cooperation in the Energy Star voluntary endorsement labeling program.
To support NAEWG's Expert Group on Energy Efficiency (NAEWG-EE), USDOE commissioned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, representing 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 identified 46 energy-using products for which at least one of the three countries has energy efficiency regulations. Three products — refrigerators/freezers, room air conditioners, and integral horsepower three-phase electric motors — have identical minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and test procedures in the three countries. Ten other products have different MEPS and test procedures, but have the near-term potential for harmonization. NAEWG-EE is currently working to identify mechanisms for mutual recognition of test results. With consultative support from the United States and Canada through NAEWG-EE, Mexico is exploring possibilities for extending the Energy Star endorsement label to Mexico.