Appliances can account for 30% of home energy use. Energy rating labels provide consumers with information on the energy-efficiency of a range of appliances. The more stars, the more energy-efficient the product is compared to other models in its category.
The Energy Rating Label is mandatory on:
- computer monitors
- clothes dryers
- washing machines
- some air conditioners (single-phase, non-ducted)
There are two label styles: the 6-star label and the ‘super efficiency’ 10-star label for appliances rated at 7 or higher.
The energy consumption figure shows an estimate of how much energy the appliance uses each year.
See the Energy Rating website for more information on the label.
In addition to the Energy Rating Label, dishwashers and clothes washing machines must also display a Water Rating Label to indicate comparative water efficiency.
A voluntary scheme exists for rating the energy-efficiency of swimming pool and spa pumps. See Voluntary Energy Rating Labelling Program for Pool Pumps.
The Zoned Energy Rating Label scheme is under development by the Australian Government in consultation with retailers and installers. It will provide climate-zone based energy-efficiency information on electrical heating/cooling systems and water heaters.
Natural gas appliances
This scheme is not regulated by the Australian Government. The industry-led Gas Energy Rating label covers these natural gas appliances:
- space heaters
- ducted heaters
- water heaters
Appliances without star ratings
For products without energy ratings, find out their energy usage and compare with similar products.
Some imported products have the American ENERGY STAR label. This scheme is supported by the US Government. ENERGY STAR rated products include certain computers, TVs, printers and media players.
Estimate running costs
Electrical appliances with a star rating label
To estimate how much an electrical appliance with a star rating will cost to run each year, multiply the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) a year (the number on the Energy Rating Label) by your electricity rate. The rate you pay is shown on your electricity bill.
The following examples use a rate of $0.2855 (28.55 cents) a kWh as an estimate of electricity costs per unit.
- A TV (55" or 140cm screen size) with a 7-star label of 213kWh a year × $0.2855 can cost around $61 a year to run.
- A TV (55" or 140cm screen size) with a 3-star label of 520kWh a year × $0.2855 can cost around $148 a year to run.
To estimate the lifetime running cost of an appliance or TV, multiply the annual cost by 10 years (the average lifespan of most major appliances before they need replacing).
In this scenario, choosing the more energy-efficient TV could save you $876 over a 10-year period.
Electric appliances without a star rating label
The crucial steps to reducing electricity consumption require identifying how much energy is currently being used and looking at your usage habits.
Estimate the running cost of new or existing appliances and technology by following a simple calculation.
Using a portable electric heater as an example:
1. Find out how much you pay for a unit of electricity.
This information is on your electricity bill. If you don't have a bill handy, contact your energy retailer.
2. Find out how much input power the product uses in kilowatts (kW).
The 'input' power is usually marked on the packaging or in the manufacturer's information in 'watts' (W).
2000W of electricity: 2000W ÷ 1000 = 2kW
3. Estimate hourly running cost.
Multiply the input power in kW by the price of your electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh).
2kW × $0.2855c a kWh = $0.571 an hour
4. Estimate daily running cost.
Multiply the cost an hour by the number of hours you use the appliance.
$0.571 × 5 hours = $2.85 a day
5. Estimate yearly running cost.
Multiply the daily cost by the typical number of days you use the appliance.
$2.85 a day×100 days = $285 a year
To calculate the energy consumption figure on the Energy Rating Label, the following usage assumptions have been applied:
- Washing machines = 7 uses per week using a warm wash
- Clothes dryers = 1 full load per week
- Dishwashers = 7 uses per week at the ‘normal’ setting
- Televisions and computer monitors = 10 hours use plus 14 hours in standby per day
- Fridges and freezers = in use 24 hours per day
Energy Rating Label overview Australian Government
Energy Rating Calculator Australian Government
Water Rating Label Australian Government
Energy ratings and labelling requirements Australian Government
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