Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Energy efficiency minimum standards a win for consumers

Clean Energy Council
13 Sep 2012

The availability of low quality, energy-intensive appliances imported from overseas will be reduced under new legislation passed through the Federal Senate today, in a move applauded by the Clean Energy Council. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green said the Greenhouse Energy Minimum Standards legislation would help protect households from power price pain by increasing the energy efficiency levels of new appliances and streamlining the energy star rating labelling system across Australia.

"Today's decision to limit the use of poor quality appliances is good news for people who are struggling with rising electricity costs. Some of these devices have a low upfront cost that can seem appealing, but end up hurting you every time you open your power bill", he said. "Loopholes in the current system mean that in some states inferior imported products are able to slip through the net and be sold to unsuspecting customers".

Mr Green said the current energy rating labelling system-the Equipment Energy Efficiency program-would be streamlined and expanded to include more products such as insulation, window glass and gas-powered products. "At the moment there are different arrangements for placing standards and energy ratings on appliances in different states, which can be confusing for consumers. The changes introduced today will include moving to a single national regulator, cutting down on red tape for businesses and reducing fees for registering products", he said.

"With these improvements, people can be confident they are getting consistent information when purchasing large appliances like air-conditioners, washing machines and dryers". Mr Green stressed that sustained dialogue and engagement with both consumers and the industry was now important in order to ensure the program was able to deliver the maximum benefits.