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Energy rating labels
Choosing energy-efficient appliances can help you save money on energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Many electric appliances sold in Australia have an Energy Rating Label to help you compare how much electricity the product uses against other appliances. The label also provides an incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy performance of household appliances. A Gas Rating Label (voluntary scheme) can be found on gas space heaters, ducted heating, and gas water heaters.
Sometimes high star-rated models can cost a little more to buy, but choosing a cheaper product with fewer stars could end up costing you more in the long run. If you look at the running costs like a "second price tag" it could help you decide which appliance to buy.
Energy Rating Labels are on all televisions, computer monitors, air conditioners, clothes dryers, dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and freezers. There is also a voluntary energy rating labelling program for swimming pool pumps.
There are two label styles: the normal 6-star label and the 10-star label for appliances rated as 7 stars and higher.
- The star rating gives a quick assessment of the model's energy efficiency. The more stars, the more efficient the appliance is compared to other models in its category.
- The energy consumption figure shows an estimate of how much energy the appliance uses each year. The lower the figure, the greater the savings.
- You can use the Energy Rating website to compare the energy-efficiency of electrical appliances and televisions.
- Keep in mind that televisions should be compared against models of equivalent screen size and appliances are rated against models with similar features such as size, volume and capacity.
- To choose an energy-efficient pool pump you can go to the list of participating pumps on the Energy Rating website.
An industry-led Gas Energy Rating Label also exists. You may notice a gas label on three household products: gas space heaters, ducted heating and gas water heaters (storage and instantaneous). This is a voluntary gas labelling scheme and is not regulated by government. You will need to contact the Australian Gas Association for information as to how products are rated and checked for compliance.
For products without energy ratings, you can find out how much energy they use and compare this with products of a similar size or capacity.
- You can then estimate the running costs of appliances and technology with and without a star rating by using a simple calculation.
- You could also check to see if the product has the voluntary blue ENERGY STAR® mark to help you identify energy efficient products. In Australia, items such as computers, televisions, printers, fax machines, photocopiers and DVD players can carry the United States-run Energy Star label.
- Remember to also check which manufacturers include energy saving features in their products.
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Fridges and freezers need a 5–8 cm gap around them to ensure good air circulation and to avoid adding up to 15 per cent in operating costs.
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