Serving Newcastle & The Hunter Valley

Understanding energy star ratings in your home

12 August 2016

Australians are becoming more and more conscious of our household energy consumption.

Since 2002, household energy use in Australia has decreased by 7%, whilst prices have risen 61% between 2008 and 2014.

Inflated quarterly electricity bills over the past decade has brought the issue to the forefront, and increasing mainstream media attention focused on the environmental impact of excessive energy consumption has prompted Australians to search for ways to reduce their usage

An effective ways for consumers to compare electrical appliances in terms of energy efficiency is the Energy Star ratings system.

Energy star ratings first appeared on Australian appliances in 1986 in New South Wales and Victoria, and the rest of the country made the ratings mandatory soon after. Consumers rely on Energy Star ratings to help make more informed decisions when purchasing household electrical appliances at the point of sale.


Who is the energy star rating for?


The Energy Star rating helps consumers make smarter decisions about the types of appliances and products they use in their homes, and the performance of these products from an energy consumption perspective. The simple star rating scale allows shoppers to perform a quick and reliable comparison between two or more competing products.


How is the Energy Star system regulated?


Regulation is part of a joint initiative between federal and state government. All products (including all imported products) receiving the rating are tested to Australian Standards.


Why is energy efficiency important?


Energy efficiency saves you money.

More energy efficient machines require less energy input to operate – which lowers your electricity costs.

In the same way that fuel efficiency is a major selling point for modern cars, energy efficient household appliances have a reduced impact on the environment and give the consumer better value for their purchase.


Which products require a star rating?


  • Air conditioners
  • Televisions
  • Fridges & Freezers
  • Desktop computers
  • Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines


How does the rating system actually work?


All products display a rating from 1 to 10. The ratings are awarded in half-star increments between 1 and 6, and in whole-star increments between 7 and 10. According to the scale, 1 is the least energy efficient result, and 10 is the most. The labels also include the number of kilowatts per-year typically required to operate the product.


Sample labels of energy star ratings found on Australian household appliances

It is best to compare products that are as similar in size and capacity as possible to get the most accurate energy consumption comparison.

For example, a 350 litre double fridge with a 5 star energy rating is not an accurate reference point for a 115 litre, 4 star bar bar fridge.


Can I use the label to figure out how much the product costs to run?


Energy costs can fluctuate depending on where you live and what time of the day the energy is being consumed. For that reason, the Energy Star labels do not provide an estimated annual running cost.

To calculate an approximate result for your home; find the cost per kilowatt of electricity on your most recent energy bill and multiply this by the average number of kilowatts the product uses per year for a total running cost.

cost per kilowatt x average kilowatt per year = total running cost

This gives consumers a solid understanding of the Australian Energy Star rating system and what you need to know to reduce your household electricity bill, and your environmental footprint.

For more helpful tips and information, check out the rest of our blog, or contact us if you would like know more about our electrician services.


If you’ve got questions about saving electricity in Newcastle or the Hunter call GKT Group on 1300 766 324.


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