Household refrigerators and freezers
Refrigerators and freezers are essential household appliances and are also a major source of energy consumption.
Unlike other appliances that are switched off when they are not in use, a refrigerator or freezer is always on, and is consuming energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For this reason, it’s essential to continually improve the energy efficiency of these appliances, and this is being achieved through the development and enforcement of Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Determinations.
At a Glance
Minimum Energy Performance Standards
Energy Rating Label
Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Household Refrigerating Appliances) Determination 2019
In Australia, this product is regulated under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012.
In New Zealand, the relevant legislation is the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. Visit the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website for more information.
What products are covered?
This Determination covers insulated cabinets that:
- have one or more compartments that are controlled at specific temperatures
- are intended for the storage and preservation of foodstuff that require refrigeration at specified temperature conditions
- are cooled by natural convection or a forced convection system whereby the cooling is produced using vapour compression cycle technology
- can be connected to mains power, and
- are ordinarily supplied for household use.
Products must fall into one of the groups specified in Table 2.1 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 to be covered by the Determination. This requires that products must have at least one compartment capable of maintaining a temperature below 20 degrees Celsius.
Refer to section 7 of the Determination for more details.
What products are not covered?
The following products are not covered by this Determination.
- Products which have a total volume of less than 80 litres and that are designed exclusively for use in caravans and other vehicles (including mobile homes, campervans, rail cars, and boats).
- Portable products that have a chest configuration or have a upright configuration and have a total volume of less than 80 litres.
- Products that have a total volume of less than 30 litres where the refrigeration function is secondary, such as boiled and cooled water dispensers.
- Products that have no options for connection to a 230 volt or 400 volt mains electricity supply at 50 hertz.
- Products that cool using technologies other than the vapour compression cycle.
- Wine storage appliances (note that the Determination does cover household refrigerating appliances that have one or more wine storage compartments in addition to other compartment types).
- Stand alone ice-makers.
For technical requirements regarding domestic refrigerators and freezers, including testing requirements and Minimum Energy Performance Standards, review the relevant Determination and standards.
The following standards are referenced in this Determination and are available for purchase from Standards Australia.
- AS/NZS 4474:2018 Household refrigerating appliances – Energy labelling and minimum energy performance standards requirements.
- AS/NZS IEC 62552.1:2018 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 1: General requirements. AS/NZS IEC 62552.1:2018 is an identical adoption of IEC 62552-1:2015 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 1: General requirements.
- AS/NZS IEC 62552.2:2018 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 2: Performance requirements. AS/NZS IEC 62552.2:2018 is an identical adoption of IEC 62552-2:2015 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 2: Performance requirements.
- AS/NZS IEC 62552.3:2018 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 3: Energy consumption and volume. AS/NZS IEC 62552.3:2018 is an identical adoption of IEC 62552-3:2015 Household refrigerating appliances — Characteristics and test methods — Part 3: Energy consumption and volume.
The versions of the standards that apply are the versions that existed on 7 August 2019, when the Determination was made.
Minimum Energy Performance Standards
The Minimum Energy Performance Standards for domestic refrigerators and freezers are those referenced in Clause 4.2 of AS/NZS 4474:2018.
Domestic refrigerators and freezers must also meet product performance requirements. These are the requirements in:
- clause 4.4 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Pull Down)
- clause 4.5 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Storage Test), and
- clause 4.6 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Temperature Excursions During Defrost and Recovery).
For more information, see subsections 8 (1) and 10 (1) of the Determination.
Testing your product
The testing requirements for domestic refrigerators and freezers are the requirements in:
- section 2 of AS/NZS 4474:2018
- clause 4.4 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Pull-down)
- clause 4.5 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Storage Test)
- clause 4.6 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Temperature Excursions During Defrost and Recovery)
- clause 4.8 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Declared Automatic Controls), and
- subclause 4.9.1 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 (Circumvention Devices).
These sections of AS/NZS 4474:2018 reference the relevant parts of the detailed testing requirements in AS/NZS IEC 62552:2018 Parts 1 to 3. For the purposes of product registration in Australia, test reports can specify either the AS/NZS IEC 62552:2018 or IEC 62552-3:2015 standards, as the two sets of standards are identical.
For more information, see subsections 8 (2), 9 (2) and 10 (2) of the Determination.
When supplying (or offering to supply) a product covered by this Determination in a retail store, there must be an Energy Rating Label with the product or its packaging.
If the product or its packaging is on display in a retail store, you must make sure that an Energy Rating Label is clearly visible and is adhered to, attached to, printed on or part of the product or its packaging (whichever is displayed).
If the product is not displayed, there must be an Energy Rating label adhered to, printed or, part of or included in the product’s packaging. An Energy Rating Label attached to a product inside its packaging meets this requirement.
For more information, see section 9 of the Determination and Clause 6.1 of AS/NZS 4474:2018.
Visit the Labelling page for general labelling information and resources.