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  • Energy Efficiency
  • 03rd May 2023

Energy Star Ratings: Save with Efficiency & Sustainability

You may have noticed that modern Australian appliances have a red or blue energy star rating sticker. But what do the stars mean - and how do they help Aussies make conscious efficiency decisions in times when energy costs are high?

Find out everything you need to know with our guide to energy ratings.

What are energy star ratings?

Energy star ratings are an initiative of the Australian Government, states and territories, and the New Zealand Government, who combine to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.

The ratings are designed to help consumers determine the overall efficiency and consumption of an appliance, typically based on a 6- or 10-star energy rating scale. Ratings can appear in half-star increments and will have a higher rating if their energy consumption is lower per unit of energy service.

Energy RatingEnergy Consumption
Most appliances will typically display a 6-star star rating model, but some have a 10-star rating system. The greater the number of stars, the more energy efficient the appliance is.Below the energy star rating is an energy consumption figure based in kWh used per year. Effectively, the lower the amount of kWh consumed, the lower your energy bills will be.

Which appliances have an energy star rating? 

It is mandatory for the energy rating label to be displayed on the following appliances and products:

  • Air conditioners (single-phase, non-ducted)
  • Washing machine
  • Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Computer monitors
  • Televisions
  • Swimming pool pumps

How do energy star ratings save money? 

There are a few factors that determine how much money may be saved from purchasing a new appliance with a higher energy star rating. The general trade-off is that the initial cost of the appliance will be higher if it has a higher energy star rating. Other factors that may influence your savings would be the size of the appliance, its range of features, and the rates you receive from your electricity retailer.

Below, we have an example of two types of dishwashers, both are run once a day in eco-mode.

Cheapest to runMost expensive to run
Dishwasher 1 (eco-mode)Dishwasher 2 (eco-mode)
RRP: $900RRP: $599
Annual running cost: $69Annual running cost: $161


As you can see from the example, there are several factors that determine the level of savings from both dishwashers. The running cost of Dishwasher 1 is $92 less annually, but the initial up-front RRP cost for the appliance is a lot higher. This also means that because the annual running cost of Dishwasher 2 is higher, it will take less than four years for the annual running cost to outweigh the price paid for it.

While the initial up-front cost of a new appliance is a large factor that many consumers look at, it is still important to look at the long-term cost benefits and better running costs associated with choosing an appliance that has a higher energy star rating.

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