How Do Energy Efficiency Labels Work?
When we buy appliances for our home, we tend to only look at brand names and the price tag. In the long run, appliances that are particularly energy efficient can save you money. Electricity costs are on the rise, and consumers should be looking at the lifecycle of major appliances rather than the upfront costs.
The Energy Efficiency Labels have been in use across Australia for over 30 years, but many don’t really understand what is being measured and regulated. We break down the Star Rating and energy efficiency labels to help you make more informed purchases.
History of the Energy Rating Label
Australia first saw energy efficiency labels in use in New South Wales and Victoria in 1986, with the rest of the nation soon following suit. By 1992, a mandatory labelling scheme was agreed upon and the rating system was implemented in years to follow.
The labels were introduced to allow consumers to make more informed decisions, and to improve manufacturing standards with regard to efficiency. As emissions and energy figures were publicly displayed, manufacturers began searching for ways to produce appliances that were efficient as well as affordable.
The Energy Rating system is a joint initiative of state and federal governments and is still enforced to this day. All dryers, dishwashers, computer monitors, televisions, washing machines, fridges and freezers sold in Australia must carry an energy efficiency label.
Short-Term Savings vs Long-Term Value
Every appliance sold in Australia must meet a certain standard of energy efficiency – national standards now are much higher than they were in the past, so a one-star product manufactured recently may still be a better option than old models. There is still a market for lower ranked appliances – consumers who only use a certain appliance occasionally may be better off with a cheaper model.
The energy efficiency labels are based on simple criteria and vary depending on the application of the product. Some simply assess energy consumption based on yearly averages, while others have more detailed criteria.
Those looking for the best option for their specific needs can use this handy online calculator to compare models.