15 October 2020

On 24 November 2017, Energy Ministers agreed to the Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) – Household Refrigerators and Freezers. On 7 August 2019, the Commonwealth Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, signed the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Household Refrigerating Appliances) Determination 2019. This Determination adopts the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62552-3:2015 test standard for household refrigerators and freezers, and introduces new minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for household refrigerators and freezers.

To reduce the regulatory burden of the change, the GEMS Regulator will use existing registration data to determine whether appliances that are registered to the requirements of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Household Refrigerating Appliances) Determination 2012 (and tested to the AS/NZS 4474.1 standard), will meet the 2019 Determination levels that will come into effect on 15 August 2021.

Refrigerators and freezers registered before 15 August 2021 under the 2012 Determination, will be assessed to comply with the 2019 Determination levels, if their assumed energy consumption under the IEC 62552-3:2015 test standard is less than 90 per cent of the energy consumption allowed, according to the product’s assumed MEPS cut-off level.

The Household Refrigerators: Energy Modelling Methodology for MEPS 2021 Compliance Technical Paper, sets out the approach that will be used to convert energy consumption measured under the AS/NZS 4474.1:2007 test standard, to the likely energy consumption under the IEC62552-3:2015 test standard. This Paper was first published on 21 October 2018 and later revised in July 2020 to clarify some variables. The methodology for calculating MEPS 2021 and projected MEPS energy consumption (PMEC) remains unchanged, while material that does not pertain to either (such as labelling references) has been removed.

So that registrants will know the status of their registrations under the 2012 Determination, the GEMS Regulator will email a confirmation to registrants on 14 February 2021 (six months before the 2019 Determination comes into effect). For each registration, the email will confirm whether the registration will be superseded (grandfathered) or upgraded (assumed to be MEPS 2021 compliant and the registration will run full term). Superseded models that were imported to Australia prior to 15 August 2021 may be supplied at any time into the future. However, no new stocks can be imported or supplied after 15 August 2021.

In addition, the GEMS Registration System will automatically send emails to registrants one month (on 14 July 2021) and one day (14 August 2021) before the 2019 Determination comes into effect.

The GEMS Regulator will not run additional ad-hoc validations for specific products to assess MEPS 2021 compliance. Ahead of the notifications mentioned above, registrants can use the methodology provided in the Technical Paper Household Refrigerators: Energy Modelling Methodology for MEPS 2021 Compliance to determine whether their registrations will be affected.

This paper sets out the approach that will be used to convert energy measured under the AS/NZS 4474.1 test standard to estimate the likely energy consumption under the International Electrotechnical Commission 62552-3 test standard. This approach will form the basis on which the GEMS Regulator will assess whether household refrigerating appliances that have been registered under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Household Refrigerating Appliances) Determination 2012 will meet MEPS 2021 levels that will come into effect on 15 August 2021. The paper was first published on 21 October 2018 and later revised in July 2020 to clarify some variables. The methodology for calculating MEPS 2021 and projected MEPS energy consumption (PMEC) remains unchanged, while material that does not pertain to either (such as labelling references) has been removed.