Clothes washing machines were first subject to mandatory energy labelling in Victoria in 1990, with a national labelling scheme coming into effect in 1992. Modern clothes washing machines use about 30% less energy today than they did when energy efficiency labelling was first introduced.

By law, every clothes washer in a store in Australia and New Zealand must display an Energy Rating Label. The label tells you how much energy the clothes washer uses per year and gives you a star rating that allows you to compare its efficiency to clothes washers of the same size.

Is your product regulated?

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.

Regulated Products

At a glance...





New Zealand

Clothes Washers



GEMS Determination»


Regulatory requirements for clothes washers

Clothes washers are subject to Energy Rating Label (ERL) requirements in Australia and New Zealand.

Clothes washers imported for sale or supply are required to meet Energy Rating Label requirements. The full technical details for the ERL are specified in AS/NZS2040.1 and AS/NZS2040.2

Standards are available for purchase from SAI Global or www.standards.co.nz.

What clothes washers are covered?

The regulatory requirements cover clothes washing machines that are ordinarily supplied and used for personal, domestic and household purposes. Please refer to the Determination for more information.

What clothes washers are excluded?

Some clothes washers with very small capacity, no mains water connection or that are only capable of cold water wash operations may be excluded. Please refer to the Determination for more information.

Swatch normalisation 

AS/NZS 2040.1:2005 Performance of household electrical appliances – Clothes washing machines – Part 1: Methods for measuring performance, energy and water consumption includes a requirement to measure soil removal for clothes washers. This measurement is done using standard soil swatches.

AS/NZS 2040.1:2005 requires test laboratories to use a swatch normalisation calculator published several times per year on our site. The swatch normalisation calculator enables test laboratories to compensate for variations between batches of soil swatches. See Publications for our latest swatch normalisation curve data.


Learn more about the registration process

The Energy Rating Label on clothes washers

The Energy Rating Label can give you all the information you need to select the most efficient and lowest cost clothes washer (to run) that also meets your needs.

Compare models

Energy Rating Calculator

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

Compare models

Download the app

Use the Energy Rating Calculator app to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of similar products.


Useful Resources

Visit the Australian Government's energy.gov.au website for useful information like:


Latest consultation:

15 Dec 2022 AEDT
15 Mar 2023 AEDT