Dishwashers were first subject to mandatory labelling in Victoria in 1989, with a national labelling scheme coming into effect in 1992.
Each dishwasher in a store in Australia and New Zealand must display an Energy Rating Label. The label tells you how much energy the dishwasher uses per year and gives you a star rating that allows you to compare its efficiency to dishwashers of a similar capacity (number of place settings).
Buying a more energy efficient dishwasher can also reduce the amount of water you use. Modern energy efficient dishwashers use less water than what is required to fill the average domestic kitchen sink.
All products covered by energy efficiency regulations must meet certain requirements before they can be supplied or sold in Australia or New Zealand.
Depending on the product, this may include Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), energy rating label requirements or both. There are specific requirements relevant to Australia and New Zealand.
Dishwashers are subject to Energy Rating Label (ERL) requirements in Australia and New Zealand.
Dishwashers imported for sale or supply are required to meet ERL requirements. The full technical details for the ERL are specified in AS/NZS2007.1 and AS/NZS2007.2
Dishwashers that are ordinarily supplied and used for personal, domestic or household purposes are covered by the regulations. Please refer to the Determination for more information.
The energy rating label can give you all the information you need to select the most efficient and lowest cost dishwasher (to run) that also meets your needs.
Both the energy consumption and the number of stars can be used together to give you all the information you need about the energy performance of the dishwasher. This information can then be taken into account in your purchasing decision.
For example, two different 13 place setting dishwashers have all the features you want but the energy rating label says Dishwasher A has 3 stars and uses 290kWh per year and Dishwasher B also has 3 stars but uses 265kWh per year. In this example, you would choose Dishwasher B as it is more efficient than Dishwasher A because it uses less energy while still has the same number of stars.
As the price of electricity can change over time and is based on where you live, the cost of running the dishwasher is not given on the label. Instead, the label gives you the amount of energy the dishwasher uses in kilowatt hours (kWh).
To calculate the annual cost of running the dishwasher, multiply the kWh figure by the cost of electricity in your area.
For example, the dishwasher you are looking at says on the label that it uses 300kWh per year. You know from your electricity bill that the price of electricity in your area is 29 cents per kWh. Simply multiple the kWh number by the electricity price to find the cost of running that dishwasher each year. In this example, the cost is $87 per year.
If your dishwasher allows both a hot and a cold water connection (rather than just a cold water connection), the cost of running your dishwasher may be higher due to the energy required to heat water from an external source (such as a water heater). This additional energy is also reflected on the label, if the manufacturer has nominated a supplementary (hot water) connection mode.
The number of stars on the label also helps you compare the efficiency of one dishwasher to another of a similar capacity. For example, a 14 place setting dishwasher with 6 stars is more efficient than another 14 place setting dishwasher with only 4 stars. Unfortunately, the number of stars cannot be used to compare dishwashers of different capacities because the number of place settings is used to calculate how many stars it can receive.
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