The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) program is a cross jurisdictional program through which the Australian Government, states and territories and the New Zealand Government collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.
It is one of a number of programs implemented by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council. An Inter-Governmental Agreement provides the framework for national cooperation on the E3 Program. A similar arrangement has also been developed to ensure alignment with New Zealand.
On 1 October 2012, the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012 came into effect, creating a national framework for product energy efficiency in Australia. The GEMS Act is the underpinning legislation for the program.
The GEMS Regulator, based in the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy, replaced the previous state regulators and is the sole party responsible for administering the legislation in Australia.
In New Zealand, the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002 have a similar role and are administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
The E3 Program is managed by the Greenhouse Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Regulator in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency Advisory Team (EEAT) which is comprised of representatives of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the New Zealand government. Industry and consumer groups participate through the E3 Review Committee and the Air-Conditioner and Commercial Refrigeration Advisory Committee (ACRAC).
The E3 Program undertakes a range of activities to improve the energy efficiency of appliances and equipment sold in Australia and New Zealand. These include energy rating labelling, setting minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and education and training.
Energy labels provide consumers with information on the energy efficiency of a product. Products are labelled so that the information is available at the point-of-sale.
This allows consumers to take into account how much an appliance will cost to run, when deciding which model to buy.
Less energy is used by today’s dishwashers compared to those of 10 years ago, thanks to the introduction of MEPS and energy labelling.
Less energy is used by households on lighting now, since the phase-out of inefficient lighting began in 2009.
Small split system air conditioners are now at least 50% more efficient than they were in 2001.
Recent consultations include: