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Communique: Whitegoods Forum 2013

14Mar

Communique: Whitegoods Forum 2013

Meeting record for the 2013 Whitegoods Forum and the workshop outcomes.

13th and 14th March 2013, Crowne Plaza Coogee NSW

Around 60 participants drawn from all stakeholder interests (industry, consumer groups, test laboratories, efficiency advocates and government officials from Australia and New Zealand) attended the 2013 whitegoods forum. Held over two days, the forum and associated workshops provided an opportunity to discuss possible changes to regulations improving the energy efficiency of whitegoods.

The forum was informed of plans for future whitegood regulation to come into effect in a few years’ time, subject to Ministerial approval. The presentations and debate at the forum covered possible changes to Australia and New Zealand regulations, the proposed review of the existing energy label, whitegood compliance and checktesting results, and information about participation in a series of international projects.

The workshops provided a more in‐depth opportunity for motivated participants to articulate their professional opinion about the possible changes. They explored the ramifications of the target implementation dates, the transition to the IEC test methods, the basis of future whitegood regulation as well as considering actual provisions of standards.

Our region deserves world‐class energy efficient whitegood product and participants committed to work together to deliver this result in a regulatory environment that is predicable, cost effective and at least matches world‐best regulatory practice provided such requirements are placed in the context of local usage patterns, climatic conditions and are affordable for the Australian and New Zealand communities.

As elements to give effect to this position, participants generally agreed to the following implementation strategies or guidelines:

  • Alignment ‐ All changes to test methods, energy and non‐energy performance requirements mandated in our region should align with requirements specified in published international standards or laws, subject to variation for consumer use / behaviour / expectations, Australian climate and based on scientific and engineering principles.

  • Commencement ‐ All Method‐of‐Test standards should migrate to the IEC standards as soon as practicable for each product type. An indicative timetable for each product type will be discussed within the workshop steering committees and reported to government during 2013.

  • Certainty – While all whitegoods should use IEC method‐of‐test standards from as soon as practical, future refrigeration performances standards should remain based on North American developments while wet appliances labelling should take their lead from European developments because of the significant trade of common products.

  • Participation ‐ Our region should maintain its presence on relevant IEC committees to ensure our regional requirements are reflected in international practice and publications.

  • Information ‐ All regulatory impact requirements and reasonable communication practices must be followed prior to any change in regulatory requirements.

  • Labelling ‐ Participants were invited to participate in the proposed mandatory energy label review to be conducted in 2013 with its results to be adopted in an orderly fashion for whitegoods (subject to adequate notice and a reasonable transition determining whether labels will be subject to fixed transitions or indefinite grandfathering).

Participants agreed to support these strategic objectives only if government provides sufficient resources and progresses the proposed regulatory process in timely fashion. Participants reserved the right for their companies to lobby decision‐makers should these commitments not be fulfilled prior to implementation of regulations.

The conference agenda is at Attachment A, a list of participants who attended the main forum is at Attachment B, a statement of the main outcomes of the refrigerator workshop is at Attachment C and a statement of the main outcomes of the wet products workshop is at Attachment D. All presentations and background documents are available from www.energyrating.gov.au.