The Energy Rating Label

Explore this page to learn about the Energy Rating Label and how to use it to choose a new appliance that suits your needs, saves energy – and saves money


The Energy Rating Label, regulated by government, has been around for over 30 years, so you can compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you buy – to reduce your electricity bill.

Explore this page to learn how to read the Energy Rating Label and choosing an efficient appliance, including

  • What is the star rating?
  • What does energy consumption mean?
  • Using the label to calculate running costs
  • Using the online calculator
  • FAQs about the Energy Rating Label
  • Related resources, pages and downloads.

Video: How to Read the Energy Rating Label

A quick explainer video on how to read the Energy Rating Label

If you cannot see the video try viewing it on YouTube or download a transcript.

What is the star rating?


The Energy Efficiency Rating label

The star rating is about energy efficiency – that is how efficient a model is relative to other models of the same size.

More stars means more efficient – when compared to other models of the same size.

Most products are given between 1 and 6 stars. However technology keeps getting better… as does energy efficiency! This is why nowadays you’ll see some super-efficient models in shops and online with an extra row for stars, as they can have up to 10.

Tip: Always choose which size (or capacity) model you need first, then use the star rating to compare them.

What does energy consumption mean?


The Energy Efficiency Rating label

Energy consumption is about how much electricity a model uses.

It is based on standardised testing – required by law and conducted in line with the official Australian and New Zealand Standard.

You can use the energy consumption number to compare any model – no matter their sizes (capacities).

The lower the number, the less a model costs to run – and the less you pay on your electricity bill.

Tip: choosing an appliance with a lower energy consumption will save on your electricity bill.

Calculating running costs – how much could I save?


An icon of a calculator.

Use the Energy Rating Label to work out rough running costs with some simple maths.

It’s easy – just take the energy consumption figure – and divide it by 4. For example, if the Energy Rating Label on a washing machine says it uses 400 kWh, it means it will roughly cost you $100 per year to run. Easy!

This is because across Australia energy rates range from under 20 c to just over 30 c per kWh – so using 25 c (1/4 of a dollar) is somewhere in the middle.

However, how often a machine is used varies between households – and the electricity rates vary between providers and regions. To calculate more accurately use our Energy Rating Calculator.  

Calculator tools

An icon of a laptop with a calculator on the screen.

Use the online calculator

Compare the energy efficiency of fridges, televisions and computer monitors, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners.

Use the calculator

Energy Rating Label FAQs


An image depicting various appliances.

Why do products have to be the same size?

Comparing the star rating on products of the same size or capacity means you can be confident you’re comparing apples-with-apples – and making an informed choice. However, if you accidently use the star rating to compare products that are not the same size, you could end up making a decision to buy a product that will cost you more to run and be responsible for more emissions.

For example, if you’re looking to buy an air conditioner, washing machine, dryer or fridge the physical size on the outside of many models looks very similar – however the capacity could be very different. If you don’t check the capacity and just look at the star rating on the Energy Rating Label – and pick the one with the most stars – you could end up paying hundreds more on electricity bills for years to come.

Is one star OK?

Yes, it is OK to buy a model with just 1 star, it just means it isn’t as efficient as other models – of the same size – on the market so it will cost you more to run.

Every new washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, TV and fridge sold in Australia and New Zealand meet a minimum standard for energy efficiency. If it doesn’t, it’s against the law to sell it. The least efficient products allowed to be sold in Australia are given one just star – whereas the most efficient are given 10.

A partial image of the E3 Energy Rating Label Guide.

Fact sheet: The Label

Download the simple, easy-to-read guide explaining how to read the Energy Rating Label, and how purchasing a more efficient appliance can save you money.

Download the guide