Energy Label Transition – The Australian Experience


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The appliance energy labeling scheme for electrical appliances has been underway in Australia for over 15 years. This scheme requires certain household appliances to display an energy rating label that aims to encourage consumers to purchase more energy efficient appliances, and therefore provides an incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy performance of appliances. The scheme commenced with the labeling of refrigerators and freezers in 1986/1987 in New South Wales and Victoria, and was quickly extended to include air conditioners (1987), dishwashers (1988), clothes dryers (1989) and washing machines (1990). Other states introduced energy labeling progressively from 1990. All states and territories now have regulations.

In 2000, Australia was the first major economy with a mandatory energy labeling program to regrade the label rating scale and redesign the label. This was a major effort and took years of planning and preparation.

This report endeavors to detail the process undertaken to achieve a successful transition in 2000 from the old label to the new label. It includes:

  • Background to the appliance labeling scheme in Australia
  • Details of the process control
  • Studies commissioned in the lead up to the transition, including:
    • Technical
    • Market Research
    • Regulatory Impact
  • Communications Strategies
  • Evaluation Procedures

The appendices include detailed information from product working group meetings which detail the issues considered and the agreements which were finally implemented. This report is intended to assist those who may wish to undertake a similar label revision/implementation process. This includes Australian Federal and State government officials who are currently considering revisions to both gas appliance and water efficiency labels as well as the extension of the labeling program to a wider range of electrical products (e.g., TVs).

Author: Robert Foster, Energy Efficient Strategies

Information from: Australian Greenhouse Office


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