The Energy Rating Labelling Scheme is a mandatory scheme for a range of appliances, these currently include:
- Clothes Washers
- Clothes Dryers
- Air Conditioners
When offered for sale, these appliances must display a label that shows the star rating and other useful information about energy consumption. The label gives the appliances a star rating between one and ten stars. The greater the number of stars the higher the efficiency. It enables consumers to compare the energy efficiency of domestic appliances on a fair and equitable basis. It also provides incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy performance of appliances.
The Energy Rating Label was first introduced in 1986 in NSW and Victoria. It is now mandatory in all Australian states and territories and New Zealand for refrigerators, freezer, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and air-conditioners (single phase only) to carry the label when they are offered for sale. Australia also applies a mandatory label to televisions. A mandatory label is proposed for adoption in New Zealand on 1 October 2012. Three phase air conditioners and swimming pool pumps may carry an energy rating label if the supplier chooses to apply for one.
The Energy Rating Label has two main features that provide consumers with the following information:
- The star rating gives a comparative assessment of the model’s energy efficiency.
- The comparative energy consumption (usually kilowatt hours/year) provides an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance based on the tested energy consumption and information about the typical use of the appliance in the home. Air Conditioners show the power consumption of the appliance (kW or kWh/hour).
The Star Rating of an appliance is determined from the energy consumption and size of the product. These values are measured under Australian Standards which define 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.