Why energy rating labels matter
Do you know what the energy stars on appliances mean? Energy rating labels provide information on how much energy a product uses, making it easy for you to compare the energy efficiency of similar appliance models. Whenever it’s time to upgrade to a new appliance, always check the energy star rating.
What is energy efficiency?
It’s a term that gets used a lot these days. Energy efficiency is about reducing or being smarter about the amount of electricity you’re using. The benefit for you personally is lower power bills. But looking at the bigger picture, becoming more energy efficient is also good for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How do you know if you’re being energy efficient?
There are plenty of ways to make your home more energy efficient, but when it comes to appliances, the energy rating labels couldn’t make it any easier to understand.
What do the stars mean?
This is a simple way to quickly see how well an appliance performs; the more stars on the label, the more energy efficient it is.
Energy consumption figure
The energy rating label also features an annual energy consumption (kWh per year). While the stars on the energy rating label are good for quickly comparing like for like appliances, the energy consumption figure allows you to compare appliances of different sizes and types (eg. a small fridge/freezer vs a larger fridge or chest freezer). The model with the lowest kWh per year will be the cheapest to run.
Is the Energy Star label different?
The Energy Star is a blue label that is given to super energy efficient products. However, it is to be retired at the end of 2017. The trans-Tasman E3 programme has been working to align NZ and Australian energy efficiency standards and as it’s gained momentum many of the worst performing products have been removed from the market, negating the need for the Energy Star label to differentiate the best from the very worst.
Until then though, it’s still relevant and you can find a list of appliances that qualify for the Energy Star online.
How much difference does it really make?
To give you an idea of how much difference there is in the energy efficiency of different products, an Energy Star qualified heat pump uses up to 30% less energy compared to a non-qualified model!
You could also have a play around on the running cost calculator that EECA have created. This will tell you how the energy rating affects the amount of energy your appliance uses, and how much each appliance will cost per year to run. Find out how a more energy efficient heat pump will help you save on your power bill! Without getting too detailed, a heat pump with less than 1 energy star costs over 50% more to run per year than one with 6 stars.