Portable, single duct space conditioners will need to be labelled and will be subject to Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) from 1 April 2020.  Spot coolers are not currently labelled or subject to MEPS.

There are two basic types of portable air conditioners:

  • Single duct portable space conditioners are unitary systems lying wholly within a conditioned space. They draw air from the conditioned space which then flows over the condenser and is exhausted via a single duct to the outside.
  • Spot coolers are also unitary systems lying wholly within a conditioned space, but they have no duct or air interconnection to the outside. These are generally limited to specific commercial or industrial applications and are rarely used in the residential sector.

Note: double duct portable air conditioners, with a second duct to draw air from outdoors, are covered by existing unitary air conditioner MEPS.  The MEPS applying to these products has been lowered under the 2019 Determination.

Portable space conditioners were not subject to energy labelling and MEPS partly because there was no international test method for the determination of efficiency. Increases in the market share of these products has prompted government to introduce policy measures for these products with respect to energy efficiency.

To find out more about your heating and cooling options please refer to the energy.gov.au website.

Regulatory requirements for portable air conditioners

There are currently no regulatory requirements for these products.  Regulatory requirements for single duct portable space conditioners will be subject to MEPS and labelling requirements from 1 April 2020.

What are we working on?

Single duct portable space conditioners that have been manufactured in or imported into Australia or New Zealand prior to 1 April 2020 and are unable to meet the new requirements (i.e. fail to meet the new MEPS) would be grandfathered. These products may be offered for sale until sold out. Products able to comply with the new requirements (i.e. can meet the new MEPS) would have to be registered, before they could be offered for sale. The Zoned Label would not be required for single duct products manufactured in or imported into Australia prior to 1 April 2020.

At a glance...



Energy Rating Label


New Zealand

Air Conditioners – Single Duct Portable


(from 1 April 2020)


(from 1 April 2020)

GEMS Determination

Under consideration pending Cabinet approval

Useful Resources

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