Refrigerators and freezers have been required to display an energy label since 1986 and to meet minimum energy efficiency levels since 1999. As a result, refrigerators and freezers are now approximately 70 per cent more efficient than they were 30 years ago.
By law, every refrigerator or freezer that is sold or supplied in Australia and New Zealand must meet a minimum level of energy efficiency. Each refrigerator and freezer on display in a store must also display an Energy Rating Label.
The Energy Rating Label shows consumers how much energy a refrigerator or freezer uses per year and displays a star rating that allows you to compare its efficiency with that of refrigerators or freezers of the same size and type.
Is your product regulated?
Find out which GEMS determination or regulatory standard applies to your product
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 meeting Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), Energy Rating Label requirements or both. There are specific legislative requirements relevant to Australia and New Zealand.
Refrigerators and freezers imported for supply in Australia and New Zealand are required to meet MEPS and Energy Rating Label requirements. The full technical details for MEPS and the Energy Rating Label requirements are specified in the AS/NZS4474.2: 2009 standard.
Which refrigerators and freezers are covered?
Ten groups of refrigerators and freezers are covered under the requirements of the 2012 Determination. Please refer to the standard AS/NZS 4474.1:2007 for more detailed information.
- Group 1: Refrigerator without a low temperature compartment, automatic defrost
- Group 2: Refrigerator with or without an ice-making compartment, manual defrost
- Group 3: Refrigerator with a short or long term frozen food compartment, manual defrost
- Group 4: Refrigerator-freezer, fresh food compartment is automatic defrost, freezer manual defrost (“partial automatic defrost”)
- Group 5B: Refrigerator-freezer, both compartments automatic defrost (frost free), bottom mounted freezer
- Group 5T: Refrigerator-freezer, both compartments automatic defrost (frost free), not side by side configuration or bottom mounted freezer (i.e. top mounted freezer)
- Group 5S: Refrigerator-freezer, both compartments automatic defrost (frost free), side by side configuration
- Group 6U: Separate vertical freezer, manual defrost
- Group 6C: Separate chest freezer, all defrost types
- Group 7: Separate vertical freezer, automatic defrost (frost free)
For these group descriptions, a ‘compartment’ means a compartment with a separate external door or an internal sub-compartment.
FAQs: the Energy Rating Label on refrigerators and freezers
The energy rating label can give you all the information you need to select the most efficient and lowest cost refrigerator and freezer (in terms of running costs) that also meets your needs.
Guide: The Energy Rating Label
A simple, easy-to-read guide that explains how to interpret the Energy Rating Label and how purchasing a more efficient appliance can save money on energy bills.