MEPS Requirements

Since 1 October 2001, three phase air conditioners with a cooling capacity of up to 65kW manufactured in or imported into Australia and New Zealand must comply with Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) requirements. The current MEPS requirements are set out in AS/NZS 3823.2-2011. MEPS covers three phase non-ducted or ducted room air conditioners of the vapour compression type of up to 65kW cooling (commercial or residential) within the scope of AS/NZS 3823.1.1 or AS/NZS 3823.1.2 or AS/NZS 3823.1.3, as applicable.

Since 1 October 2004, all single phase air conditioners manufactured in or imported into Australia and New Zealand must comply with MEPS requirements. MEPS requirements are set out in AS/NZS 3823.2-2011. MEPS covers single phase non-ducted or ducted room air conditioners of the vapour compression type (commercial or residential) within the scope of AS/NZS 3823.1.1 or AS/NZS 3823.1.2 or AS/NZS 3823.1.3, as applicable.

In New Zealand, products imported after June 2011 must comply with the MEPS & labelling requirements specified in AS/NZS 3823.2:2009.

In Australia, products imported after October 2011 must comply with the MEPS & labelling requirements specified in AS/NZS 3823.2:2011.

AS/NZS 3823.1.1 and AS/NZS 3823.1.2 and AS/NZS 3823.1.3 cover equipment utilizing one or more refrigeration systems with one outdoor unit and one or more indoor units controlled by a single thermostat/controller. They cover equipment utilizing single, multiple and variable capacity components. Examples of equipment types covered include those with a single indoor control such as single packaged units, packaged ducted units, double and triple split systems and single split systems and water sourced heat pumps.

New MEPS and energy labelling requirements for air conditioners with a cooling output up to 65kW come into force on 1 October 2011. Details are set out in AS/NZS3823.2-2011 which was published on 23 September 2011.

AS/NZS 3823.2-2011 requires the determination of Power Consumption in Non Operative Mode (Clause 2.4). The non-operating power of an air conditioner is the average power consumption of the air conditioner when not providing a cooling, heating or air circulation function for the user as determined in accordance with Appendix G. In accordance with Appendix G, where the determination of the Power Consumption in Non Operative Mode is affected by temperature and/or the operating schedule, information in relevant climate and operating schedule file shall be used to determine this power as specified. This linked Excel file provides a full temperature and operating profile for cooling mode and heating mode: Operating/temperature schedule for ACDB Climate 28 (Excel file, 4.1 MB). Note that different profiles are used to separately assess heating mode and cooling mode.

Key Regulatory Dates

The following are key dates with respect to new requirements for air conditioners:

  • 1 October 2011: More stringent MEPS, as defined within AS/NZS 3823.2 – 2011, for all applicable products except ducted systems (from 10 kW to < 19 kW, both single and three phase).
  • 1 April 2012: More stringent MEPS, as defined within AS/NZS 3823.2 – 2011, for ducted systems (from 10 kW to < 19 kW, both single and three phase).

For the status of regulation in New Zealand please refer to EECA.

Products manufactured or imported must comply with the relevant requirements and MEPS levels at the time of manufacture or importation. Once registered to these requirements, products manufactured or imported prior to any new MEPS date can continue to be sold after new MEPS levels come into force. Details related to stock that has been imported into Australia or manufactured in Australia before 1st October 2011 are set out in the Administrative Guidelines (refer to MEPS transition arrangements, clause 3.2.2).

Test procedures for single and three phase units are the same: see requirements for air conditioners.

Exemptions: The following air conditioner types are exempted from the requirements of energy labelling and/or MEPS:

  • Close controlled air conditioners within the scope of AS/NZS 4965 and chillers within the scope of AS/NZS 4776.
  • Multi-split systems (i.e., those having more than one indoor unit with an independent control for each indoor unit) pending the development of a suitable test method. MEPS levels are under consideration.
  • Evaporative coolers or any other cooling systems which are not of the vapour compression type.
  • Ground water or ground loop sourced heat pumps within the Scope of AS/NZS 3823.1.3 (ISO 13256-1).
    Note that water loop heat pumps are not exempt and these are covered by AS/NZS 3823.1.3.
  • Unbalanced air conditioners and spot coolers (these include some portable types). Regulatory requirements for these types are under consideration.
  • Air conditioners powered by mains electricity specifically designed and sold only for installation in end-use mobile applications of caravans, mobile homes, camper vans and rail cars.
  • Single phase models that are designed for commercial applications, and where the requirements of (1), (2) and (3) below are met, are not required to display an Energy Rating label but are still required to be registered.
    1. Designed for and used only in non-residential applications; and
    2. not on display for sale through retail outlets; and
    3. not promoted in any catalogue or advertising material that could be interpreted as suitable for some residential applications.
  • Models that have been granted exemption by the relevant Australian/New Zealand regulatory authority due to their specific design for application such as process heating or cooling, or for heating or cooling of spaces to conditions that are not intended for human comfort.

The Minimum Energy Performance Standards requirements are set out as minimum EER levels.  These are set out in the table below.

 

MEPS: MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR AIR TO AIR HEAT PUMPS AND AIR CONDITIONERS AT RATED CAPACITY (from AS/NZS 3823.2-2011 Table 3.1)


Product Description

Min AEER
and/or ACOP

1 Apr 2011

Min AEER
and/or ACOP

1 Oct 2011

Non ducted unitary – all types, <10kW, all phases

2.84

3.10

Non ducted unitary – all types, 10kW to <19kW, all phases

2.75

3.10

Non ducted split systems – all types, <4kW, all phases

3.33

3.66

Non ducted split systems – all types 4kW to <10kW all phases

2.93

3.22

Non ducted split systems – all types 10kW to 19kW all phases

2.75

3.10

Ducted systems – all types, <10kW, all phases

2.75

3.10

Ducted systems – all types, 10kW to <19kW, all phases

2.75

3.10*

All configurations – all types, 19kW to 39kW, all phases

3.05

3.10

All configurations – all types, >39kW to 65kW, all phases

2.75

2.90

* The application date for ducted systems from 10 kW to  <19 kW is 1 April 2012.

The EER levels in 2010 were based on operating EER, while the levels from 2011 will be based on annual EER (AEER).

Note: Unitary are mostly window wall units or packaged systems. Types refer to cooling only or reverse cycle. Air source only – separate MEPS levels are specified for water source heat pumps – refer to AS/NZS3823.2-2011 for details.

 

MEPS—MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR WATER SOURCE HEAT PUMPS AND AIR CONDITIONERS AT RATED CAPACITY (see Note)


Cooling and/or Heating capacity

Minimum AEER
and/or ACOP

1 April 2011

< 39.0 kW

3.50

≥ 39.0 kW 3.20

Note: This table includes requirements for Air Conditioners with water cooled condensers and water sourced heat pumps (water loop heat pumps) within the scope of AS/NZS 3823.1.3.

The rated capacity is defined under condition T1 in AS/NZS 3823.1.1 or AS/NZS3823.1.2 or AS/NZS3823.1.3, as applicable.

For MEPS purposes:

  • At least one unit has to be tested (or simulated) and results supplied with the application
  • physical tests in a calorimeter or using the enthalpy method are acceptable
  • simulation to AS/NZS 3823.3 is an acceptable alternative to physical tests
  • cooling capacity and energy consumption is determined to condition T1
  • heating capacity and energy consumption is determined to condition H1 (ISO condition “high”)
  • for each unit tested, the measured capacity shall be > 0.95 of the rated value
  • for each unit tested, the measured energy consumption shall be < 1.05 of the rated value.

Note that where a product is registered for energy labelling as well as MEPS, only physical tests are permitted (ie simulation is not allowed). For products registered for energy labelling, a test report must also be submitted to show that the model is capable of meeting the maximum cooling test requirement.

Note that heating only units (with no cooling function) are not required to be registered for MEPS.

A copy of the standard can be purchased from SAI Global under licence from Standards Australia or Standards New Zealand.

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Product Description

Minimum AEER and/or ACOP
1 April 2011

Minimum AEER and/or ACOP
1 October 2011

Non ducted unitary – all types, < 10 kW, all phases

2.84

3.10

Non ducted unitary – all types, 10 kW to < 19kW, all phases

2.75

3.10

Non ducted split systems – all types, <4 kW, all phases

3.33

3.66

Non ducted split systems – all types, 4 kW to  <10 kW, all phases

2.93

3.22

Non ducted split systems – all types, 10 kW to 19 kW, all phases

2.75

3.10

Ducted systems – all types, < 10 kW, all phases

2.75

3.10

Ducted systems – all types, 10 kW to < 19 kW, all phases

2.75

3.10*

All configurations – all types, 19 kW to 39 kW, all phases

3.05

3.10

All configurations – all types, > 39 kW to 65 kW, all phases

2.75

2.90