Labelling Overview

Energy rating labels provide consumers with information on the energy efficiency of a product. There are two main types of labels:

Comparison Labels

Comparison labels allow consumers to compare the energy consumption of similar products, and factor lifetime running cost into their purchasing decision. These include:

The Energy Rating Label is a mandatory comparison label. There are also voluntary comparison labels like the swimming pool pumps label. The Zoned Energy Rating Label is currently being developed for appliances installation locations impact on energy efficiency, performance and/or energy usage.

Endorsement Labels

Endorsement labels provide a ‘seal of approval’ to inform prospective purchasers that the product is highly energy efficient for its class. This includes:

The ENERGY STAR label is an endorsement label that is not regulated by the Australian Government. For information about the programme in New Zealand, visit the EECA website.

The Energy Rating Label

Energy Rating Label

Six star and ten star versions of the Energy Rating Label for televisions.

The Energy Rating Label shows the energy performance of particular appliances and equipment.  It allows consumers to understand how much a particular model will cost to run, and also how energy efficient it might be in comparison to similar models.


Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter?

Energy efficient appliances use less electricity to achieve the same level of performance to similar models with the same size or capacity.  The more energy efficient a model, the less energy it will use and the less it will cost you to run.


Why Label Appliances and Equipment?

We label these products 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. 

The label is part of a government and industry initiative to encourage consumers to buy appliances and equipment which are more energy efficient.  As market demand for these products increase, manufacturers will be encouraged to produce more energy efficient models to meet this demand.

Energy rating labelling often works hand-in-hand with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (minimum standards). Minimum standards establish a minimum level of energy performance that products must meet before they can be sold to consumers. Minimum standards improve the average efficiency of products available on the market by raising the performance of the least efficient products.

Guide: Energy Rating Label


Guide: Energy Rating Label

A simple, easy-to-read guide that explains:

  • how to interpret the Energy Rating Label; and
  • how purchasing a more efficient appliance can save money on energy bills.

View guide

Which Products Need To Be Labelled?

In Retail Stores

It is mandatory for the energy rating label to be displayed on these products:


  • Air Conditioners (single phase, non-ducted)
  • Televisions
  • Clothes washers
  • Refrigerators
  • Clothes dryers
  • Freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Computer Monitors



Where these products are sold online, it is not mandatory to display the energy rating label.  However, consumers want this information so it makes good business sense for retailers to provide it, both online and in their ‘bricks and mortar’ stores.  We have developed a range of tools and resources  that make it simple for retailers to display energy rating information.

Online labelling


How To Read The Label

The label has two key pieces of information on it: the energy consumption figure and the star rating. The air conditioner label is different to most other appliances’ labels, though. For more information, see the Air Conditioners page.

Important: To compare models using the energy rating label, the models must be of a similar size or capacity.


1 Energy Consumption Figure

The Energy Rating Label provides an estimate of how much energy (in kilowatt-hours or kWh) the appliance will use over a year.  This is based on assumptions about “average usage” and allows consumers to estimate how much it will cost them to run that appliance.

However, actual energy consumption will depend on how an appliance is used and how often it is used. Factors like climate can also have a big influence on energy consumption (and efficiency) for some appliances.

Usage Assumptions

To calculate the energy consumption figure on the Energy Rating Label, the following usage assumptions have been used:

  • Televisions and Computer Monitors = 10 hours use plus 14 hours in standby per day    
  • Fridges and Freezers = in use 24 hours per day
  • Clothes Dryers = 1 full load per week
  • Dishwashers = 7 uses per week at the ‘normal’ setting
  • Clothes washers = 7 uses per week using a warm wash

Air Conditioners - the energy rating label on air conditioners is a little different and does not contain an annual energy consumption figure. Instead it provides a power input figure which shows how much energy it will use to produce the stated capacity output figure. The energy rating app or calculator can be used to estimate annual energy use.


2 Star Rating

The more stars on an appliance’s label, the more energy efficient it is.

Efficient appliances use less electricity to achieve the same level of performance of similar models with the same size or capacity.

The more energy efficient a model, the less energy it will use and the less it will cost you to run.

Download our simple guide on how to read the Energy Rating Label.


What Do The Stars Mean?Energy Rating Label

Most product categories have a label with a maximum of six stars.  That is, the least efficient models have one star while the most efficient models have six stars.

The labels on televisions, refrigerators and air conditioners, though, can show a maximum of ten stars.   That is, the least efficient models have one star while the most efficient models can have up to ten stars.

As a model’s energy efficiency increases, the stars increase in half-star increments up to six stars and then single star increments up to ten stars.


How Are Star Ratings Calculated?

The star rating of an appliance is determined from the energy consumption and size of the product.

If you think of an air conditioner, for example, a model’s efficiency is the amount of cooling capacity (output) per unit of energy it consumes (input). For a television, a model’s efficiency is related to its screen size. Algorithms allocate the lowest performing products one star performance in most instances and better performing products are awarded more stars.

Detailed information on performance standards can be found on the product page for each appliance.

The appliance’s relevant test standard, for example Australian and New Zealand Standards, define these algorithms and test procedures for measuring energy consumption and minimum energy performance criteria. Appliances must meet these criteria before they can be granted an Energy Rating Label.

A continuous improvement in appliance performance over time has meant that many of the products meet the performance requirements for 4, 5 or 6 stars on their label.  In some product categories, the label design has been changed to incorporate ten stars rather than six.  This introduced a tougher standard for calculating star ratings which prevents clustering and encourages manufacturers to keep improving the energy efficiency of appliances.

The star ratings of all appliances are reviewed from time to time and the star rating formulae are changed as appliance efficiency improves.

Sample Energy Rating Labels

Samples of the Energy Rating Label are available for download as a resource for your school or research projects and publications.

Select the product Energy Rating Label from the following list.

To download, right click the image and select “Save As”.

Air Conditioners 

Cooling Only – 6 Star Cooling Only – 10 StarHeating Only – 6 StarHeating Only – 10 StarReverse Cycle – 6 StarReverse Cycle – 10 Star


Dishwasher label

Clothes Dryers 

Clothes Dryer Sample Label

Computer Monitors

Computer monitor sample labels showing 3.5 and 6 stars respectively

Domestic Refrigerators

Domestic Refrigeration – 6 StarDomestic Refrigeration – 10 Star

Clothes Washers

Clothes Washers - Warm Wash OnlyClothes Washers - Cold and Warm Wash


Television – 6 StarTelevision – 10 Star




Zoned Energy Rating Label

Installed location can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency and performance of certain appliances (mainly space conditioners and water heaters), with contributing factors including air temperature, water temperature, frosting, humidity, cloud cover.  For this reason, the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Committee is examining a move to a zone based energy efficiency labelling system for some products or product categories.

sample version of the proposed zoned label


Improved Information Using The ZERL

A Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL) will provide enhanced information to consumers and advisors about product energy efficiency and other key performance attributes relevant to their location.  It will allow for meaningful comparisons of energy efficiency, running costs and key performance attributes across technologies.


What Products Will Display The Label?

It is intended that a ZERL could apply to all water heating and space conditioning appliances, regardless of technology. While climate significantly influences the performance and energy efficiency of some of these products (particularly air conditioners, heat pump and solar water heaters) other products (i.e. electric and gas storage water heaters and gas space heaters) are not heavily affected. However some factors will still affect energy usage – for water heaters the inlet temperature will vary based on local climate, which in turn impacts performance and energy required to heat the water to the required temperature. In addition, climate and temperature influence the frequency these appliances are used – heating requirements in Darwin are very different to Dunedin!
In order to enable consumers to make fair and informed product comparisons, the ZERL would apply to all water and space heating and cooling products. This will allow consumers to compare efficiency and energy usage across all appliances providing the same service (i.e. water heating or space conditioning) to make informed product decisions.


What Information Will The Label Show?

The ZERL will display key performance information (e.g. noise levels where applicable). It will display a consistent measure to allow for appropriate sizing of these appliance types. Importantly it will also include a QR code that will allow interested parties to obtain information specific to their own interests and circumstances (pre-filled local energy tariffs, estimated operating hours based on their local climate, greenhouse gas emissions etc). Finally, the ZERL will clearly identify products that are unsuited to particular climate conditions.


Why Is This New Label Needed?

By providing this information, gains can occur from existing products being sold and promoted in regions where they will work more efficiently and/or effectively. The display of zonebased information will also provide an incentive to manufacturers to innovate and provide products that are targeted to particular climate conditions that currently cannot be clearly indicated from the current Energy Rating Label.

A zoned energy rating label provides consumers, advisors and manufacturers with greater opportunities to save energy, save on running costs and reduce emissions through meaningful comparisons of information relevant to their location and circumstances.


International Progress With Zoned Labels

The European Union introduced a new label for air conditioners in January 2013 that displays energy efficiency and performance information for three climate zones.

They have since adopted a similar labelling scheme for space heaters and water heaters, which was implemented in September 2015.

The European label allows direct comparisons between energy use of electric and gas operated appliances, as well as other key product information. It provides an energy rating (equivalent to the Australian and New Zealand star rating), annual energy consumption and coefficient of performance figure for a cold zone, a moderate zone and a warm zone.

In the United States, a new air conditioner label was introduced in January 2015 that displays a map with separate climate zones. Energy Star in the US and in Canada also operates a climate based rating label for windows.


Australia/New Zealand Progress


The development of an Australian and New Zealand zoned label has involved extensive design and research stages. Label design options were drafted and tested in a range of locations across Australia and New Zealand. This work has examined the best way to display the climate information that will be meaningful to both consumers and the range of advisers who supply or recommend these types of products.

Following several rounds of qualitative and quantitative testing that involved appliance installers, retailers and consumers, a single draft zoned design was selected and has since been agreed to by the E3 Committee. The reports from these tests are available below.

The label will undergo minor amendments based on feedback from these processes, and additional refinement and research work will continue to develop the label and the focus of any accompanying education campaigns.


Map Development For Air Conditioners And Heat Pump Water Heaters

A methodology to establish the climate zones that will be displayed on the label for air conditioners and heat pump water heaters has been developed.

This research examined a range of climatic data and conditions, balanced with population data, to determine the best distribution of climate zones.

This research has separated Australia and New Zealand into three climate zones, broadly a hot/humid, a cold and a mixed zone. These separations will allow consumers and advisors to access information more relevant to their own circumstances than the current label allows.


Map Development For Solar Water Heaters

Additional research is currently underway to examine conditions that affect the performance of solar water heaters, such as solar radiation and cloud cover. It is expected to determine the allocation of Australian and New Zealand locations into three zones, similar to the air conditioner research, and is intended to be published shortly.


Next Steps

Following the next stages of quantitative and qualitative testing, consultation with all interested parties will commence, with details to be provided on the Energy Rating website.

Should the research and development process result in a decision to progress a zoned label, it would be implemented on an appliance basis following the regulation impact statement process that also examined other energy efficiency policies, such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact us.


News and Updates

Swimming Pool Pumps Label

swimming pool pumpsUnder the E3 Program, there is no requirement for swimming pool pumps to display an energy rating label.

However, the E3 Program has set up a voluntary labelling initiative for suppliers who wish to participate.

Endorsement labelling programs

Energy StarENERGY STAR is an example of an endorsement labelling program. It is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products that originated in the United States.  

Appliances and equipment that qualify to carry the ENERGY STAR mark are generally in the top 25% most energy efficient products.

In Australia, the label is used for office equipment and home electronics.  ENERGY STAR is not regulated by the Australian Government.

New Zealand uses the ENERGY STAR label for a much wider range of products such as whitegoods, lighting, heating, water heating and windows.

Compare models


Online Calculator

Compare the energy efficiency of fridges, televisions and computer monitors, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners.

Compare models

Mobile App

Download the Energy Rating App to find the running costs of appliances on the go or in store.


tradesperson fixing hot water heater