Skip to main content
Australian government - energy made easy: the power to compare

Efficient appliances

Choosing appliances that are energy efficient can save you money. Appliances are things like dishwashers, heaters and air conditioners.

Some gas and electrical appliances have labels on them to help you work out which ones are the most energy efficient. These are called 'energy efficiency ratings'.

Electrical appliances

Some electrical appliances have an energy rating label on them. The label must be on:

  • fridges
  • freezers
  • televisions
  • washing machines
  • clothes dryers
  • dishwashers
  • air conditioners.

The label gives you an idea of how efficient the appliance is. The label has:

  • a star rating
  • an estimate of how much electricity the appliance uses each year.

The star rating lets you see which brands are more efficient than others.

There are 2 sorts of labels:

  • 6 star
  • 10 star – this is for appliances that are very energy efficient and have a 'super energy efficiency' rating of 7 stars or more.

From April 2020, there are also zoned energy rating labels for air conditioners.

Two energy rating label examples. Each is a colourful rectangle with a half-circle top containing a different star rating. Below the star rating the words 'Energy Rating' and the labelled appliance's energy consumption in kWh per year. Each label finishes with the instruction: 'Compare models at'.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2019

More stars might mean the appliance is more expensive, but more stars also mean the appliance is more efficient.

Because it uses less energy, a more efficient appliance might save you money in the long run.

Here are 2 examples of what energy rating labels might mean.

Example 1

Let's say we have a:

  • 7kg clothes dryer with 1 star
  • 7kg clothes dryer with 6 stars.

The 1-star dryer uses nearly 3 times as much electricity as the 6-star dryer.

Example 2

Let's say we have a:

  • 106cm plasma TV with ½ a star
  • 106cm LCD TV with 6 stars.

The ½-star TV uses more than 5 times as much electricity as the 6-star TV.

(Source: )

Zoned energy rating labels

New regulations require zoned energy rating labels on air conditioners from 1 April 2020.

These labels tell you how efficient an air conditioner is depending on which of the 3 climate zones you live in (hot, average or cold), how much cooling and heating the air conditioner can provide, how much electricity it uses and how loud it is.

A zoned energy rating label that's been heavily annotated with text explaining each of its iconographic parts. The label broadly illustrates that 'climate zones' are made up of different regions of Australia and New Zealand. More information can be found after the image.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2019

The label also shows annual energy consumption across air conditioner models in a consistent way. This brings the energy label for air conditioners into line with many of the other energy rating labels (such as those for fridges, washing machines and televisions) which already display an annual consumption figure.

More information about the new zoned energy rating labels is available on the Energy Rating website.

(Source: )


Need more help with comparing appliances?

If the appliance does have a star rating label, you can use the Energy Rating Calculator on the Australian Government's Energy Rating website. This calculator is also available as a free app.

If the appliance doesn't have a star rating label, you can use a formula presented on the website to estimate the running costs.

Gas appliances

You will find gas rating labels on some:

  • gas space heaters
  • ducted heating systems
  • gas water heaters.

The label gives you an idea of how efficient the appliance is. The label has:

  • a star rating
  • an estimate of how much gas the appliance uses each year.

More stars means the appliance is more efficient than similar appliances.

To find out more about how gas products are rated and checked, contact the Australian Gas Association on 03 9580 4500 or visit

Energy Star labels

You might also see a blue Energy Star label on some but not all:

  • computers
  • printers
  • fax machines
  • DVD players.

The blue Energy Star label is a an initiative based in the United States to help consumers identify energy efficient products.

It is voluntary in Australia, so keep in mind that a product that does not have the label could be just as efficient as one that does.


If you'd like to check that a product you're considering buying has not been recalled, visit the Product Safety Australia website to view all the product recalls in Australia.

Need help buying an efficient appliance?

Efficient appliances can save you money in the long run, but they might be more expensive to buy than other appliances.

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) is a way you can get a no interest loan to buy essential things for the house, like a washing machine. NILS is available across Australia.

To use the NILS, you must:

  • have a health care card, pension card or be on a low income
  • have lived in your current home for more than 3 months
  • be able to pay back the loan.

Good Shepherd Microfinance can tell you how to use the NILS. To find out more call 13 64 57 or visit

Related topics

Last updated on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 12:38 PM