Read This NZ Energy Rating Guide And Save Big On Power

Sep 23, 2021
By Staff writer


If you've ever purchased or looked for appliances to buy, then you've probably seen the Energy Rating Label on them. The question is, why do they have this label and what do the stars indicate?

Did you know that these Energy Ratings in NZ can help make shopping easier for you? You can easily spot which appliances and models might end up costing you more in the future.

History of Energy Rating Labels

Energy Rating Labels are a trans-Tasman collaboration and has been around since 2002. The Te Tari Tiaki Pūngao/Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) administer the energy rating labels in New Zealand. Products to be sold in Australia or New Zealand in either country can be registered by manufacturers.

What is an energy rating?

An Energy Rating Label indicates how efficient an appliance model is and how much it'll cost you in the long run. This makes comparing and choosing models easier next time you go shopping for appliances. You will often see these labels on Televisions, refrigerators, dishwashers, monitors, heat pumps, and more.

The Energy Rating Labels tell you two important things: the star rating, and the energy consumption.


What does the star rating mean?

The top part of the label has a rating of up to 6 or 10 stars. The stars show how energy efficient an appliance model is compared to other models. The lowest star rating is 1, and the scale increases in increments of half a star. The more star ratings a model has, the more energy-efficient it is.

Some models have 10-star energy ratings, which means they qualify as super-efficient. Note that ratings of 7 stars or more increase in increments of 1 star.

What about energy consumption?

The middle part of the label indicated the annual energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh). kWh is a measure of the energy used by an appliance and the lower the energy consumption figures, the better.

If you're still confused about what the figures mean, you can easily calculate how much a model would cost you depending on the power price you pay.

If you don't have a power bill with you, the average cost of a kWh in New Zealand is 25¢, so that makes 4kWh = $1.

Once you know how the figures work, you can start comparing the yearly energy consumption of appliance models.

Washing machines

If you're shopping for a washing machine, you may encounter models with two energy consumption figures — one for the warm wash, and one for the cold wash. Base the figure on the type of wash you regularly use, as this will more accurately describe your energy consumption.

Other information on the label:

Apart from the star ratings and energy consumption, you may also see the following information on the label:

  • Brand
  • Model name
  • Cycle/settings used to compute the energy consumption figure
  • If applicable, the standard that the model was tested under
  • Another energy consumption info for a different setting

How much does a kWh cost in New Zealand?

The annual energy consumption figures on most labels in appliances are in kilowatt-hours (kWh), but what does it mean and how does it affect your power costs? A kWh is equal to 1000 watts used over a one-hour period, and electricity is priced per kWh. The numbers you see on your meter are the number of kWh used. You will also see kWH on your monthly power bills together with other costs.

You can use the energy consumption figure on an appliance and the kWh tariff from your electricity bill to calculate how much a model will cost to run to see if it's worth your money.

Guide to comparing Energy Rating Labels:


  • Compare appliances of the same type, size, and capacity for the star rating
  • Pick a model with more stars and lower energy consumption
  • Calculate the annual running cost based on your electricity costs


  • Compare different types of appliances (e.g. comparing a fridge and a dishwasher)
  • Compare an old model of the appliance with a newer one as the test standards might have changed already
  • Assume that high stars automatically mean it will be less expensive to use. It just means that it's cheaper than the similar models


What if the model doesn't have an energy rating label?

You can see an Energy Label sticker in stores, and retailers indicate them on their website as well. You can also check energy stars and annual energy consumption on websites like Consumer NZ. If you can't see an energy rating label sticker in store, you may ask the retailer as it's mandatory for them to display it on the appliances.

Appliances included are:

  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Household refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Televisions
  • Some models of computer monitors
  • Heat pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes dryers

You can also check the energy star rating and annual energy consumption of a specific model using EECA’s Efficient appliance calculator. The calculator helps you avoid power-hungry appliances by finding the most cost-effective and energy-efficient appliances in just a few clicks. The tool allows you to filter so you can find the products that suit you best. Use the product name or model name to find them in-store.

Are there specific energy rating and energy efficiency standards in NZ?

The Energy Rating Label applies to specific products under the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002, which means the label must be displayed on the products if they are for sale. As mentioned above, the label compliance is administered by EECA in New Zealand, which also applies in Australia.

Labelling appliances encourage manufacturers to make their products more efficient and remove inefficient models out of New Zealand. This helps the country save energy and emissions, and Kiwis save money.

How to comply:

Importers and manufacturers

  1. Check if your product is covered by the Regulations. If yes, you must complete the necessary requirements.
  2. Test your products which must meet the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and Mandatory Energy Performance Labelling (MEPL) requirements.
  3. Register the regulated products through the E3 system.


  1. Check if the products meet the New Zealand Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) by asking the supplier (importer/manufacturer) to provide the required information. You may check the list of regulated products here.
  2. If you're selling products that have Mandatory Energy Performance Labeling (MEPL) requirements, it's your job to make sure the label is correctly displayed with each product.

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