Stars in your eyes

July 2015

Energy star rating labels are designed to help you make the right choice when shopping for large appliances.

They are available on appliances like refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and air-conditioners.

Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Robert Simpson said the labels had two main features to help you make the best choice

Firstly, the star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model's energy efficiency. Use the number of stars to compare to other similarly sized models. For example, if there are several 500 litre fridges you are thinking about purchasing, the one with the higher star rating will cost less to run.

The second feature is the comparative energy consumption, which is usually displayed in kilowatt hours per year (kWh). Kilowatt hours (kWh) are the unit of energy you see on your electricity bill.

This provides an estimate of how much electrical energy the appliance uses annually based on typical use of the appliance in the home.

To convert the energy consumption to annual costs, you need to multiply the kWh figure by the rate you pay for electricity. If you are on a good discount offer from your electricity retailer, the average rate for appliance usage is around 20 c/kWh for Ausgrid’s network area from 1 July 2015. Remember this is an estimate only and you should check your individual energy rates with your electricity retailer.

Ausgrid also has calculators to estimate running costs of some appliances on its website.

So, if you’re shopping around for a new appliance, remember these two tips: 

1. Look at the stars to compare the energy efficiency of different models of the same size. 
2. Use the energy consumption figure on the label to help calculate the annual running costs. 

AC star ratings sticker 

Star ratings give a quick comparative assessment of energy efficiency.