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IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012 came into effect on 1 October 2012. National GEMS legislation creates some changes to the way equipment energy efficiency is regulated in Australia. Read more about these changes and how they impact you.

Improving the energy efficiency of appliances and products in all sectors (residential, commercial and industrial) has significant economic and environmental benefits for Australia and New Zealand. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy demand in both countries, helps save consumers and businesses on running costs over the life of the products they choose to use.

The main policy tools used to achieve reductions in energy use from these products are mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and Energy Rating Labels (ERLs) – the familiar star labels that have compared a range of electrical goods for twenty five years.  These policies are implemented through a collaborative initiative called the Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3) involving representatives drawn from all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.

MEPS and ERLs already apply to a large range of equipment, appliances and lighting products including refrigerators, clothes washers, televisions, compact fluorescent lamps and industrial motors.  Suppliers of all these products must register their products with one of the E3 Regulators before the products may lawfully be sold in either Australia or New Zealand. This registration constitutes the formal declaration by the supplier that the product complies with the relevant regulatory MEPS and/or ERL requirement.

It is currently estimated that the E3 Program will yield a cumulative economic benefit to Australia of AUD$22.4 billion1 by 2024, plus new benefits of NZD$5.1 billion2 to the New Zealand economy by 2036. This reflects not only economic and environmental benefits, but also significant savings for households, businesses and industry throughout Australia and New Zealand. These benefits are the result of a productive working relationship between government agencies and industry.

If you are considering the purchase of any of these types of regulated product, you can compare the full range of models with their detailed specifications to find the most energy efficient product to suit your needs.

  1. Source: Prevention is Cheaper than Cure – Avoiding Carbon Emissions through Energy Efficiency: Project impacts of the Equipment Energy Efficiency Program to 2010, p.5 (Report 2009/01)
  2. Source: New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.