Appliances, lighting and equipment

Household appliances account for about 30% of total residential energy consumption with lighting an additional 12%. Average household electricity use in Australia has been falling for the last decade, despite increasing numbers of appliances, due in part to energy efficiency standards. Modern refrigerators and air conditioners for example use significantly less energy than older models.

Improving the energy efficiency of appliances and products has significant economic and environmental benefits, reducing the running costs of appliances and products for households and businesses. While many of the appliances, lights and equipment on the market have improved their efficiency over the last decade, there remains room for improvement.

Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3)

The Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3) is a cross jurisdictional program through which the Australian, state and territory governments, and the New Zealand Government, collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.

Energy Rating Label

The Energy Rating Label allows you to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you buy—to reduce your electricity bill. The star rating shows 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.

The Energy Rating Label also shows the energy consumption of an appliance or 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. The lower the number, the less a model costs to run—and the less you pay on your electricity bill.

The Energy Rating Label is more than 30 years old and only the Canadian (1978) and the US (1979/1980) schemes pre-date the Australian system.

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS)

On 1 October 2012, the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) legislation came into effect, creating a national framework for appliances and equipment energy efficiency in Australia. The Australian GEMS Regulator has replaced the previous state regulators and is responsible for administering the legislation in Australia. The introduction of the GEMS legislation supports the E3 Program and fulfils a commitment made by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2009 to introduce national legislation to regulate equipment energy efficiency in Australia.

The Australian Government is undertaking the first statutory review of the GEMS legislation.

Energy Rating and Light Bulb Saver apps

The Energy Rating Calculator can help you to save money on your energy bills by choosing a more energy efficient appliance. By considering both annual running costs and the upfront purchase price, you can compare models to help you save energy—and money—in the long term. You can download the free app on iTunes or Google Play.

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