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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Energy efficient appliances and lighting: Helping Aussies live greener and smarter

Media release
1 November 2009

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Today marks another milestone in Australia's journey towards an energy efficient economy, with three major initiatives announced to improve the performance and efficiency of household appliances and lighting.

Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett announced new performance standards and energy labels for televisions; the extension of the 10-star energy rating scale for super efficient fridges, freezers and air conditioners; and the next steps in the phase-out of inefficient household lighting.

Upcoming measures to improve the energy efficiency of desktop and laptop computers, computer monitors and swimming pool pumps are also on the table.

These household energy efficiency measures are expected to:

"Energy efficiency is one of the cheapest, smartest and most effective actions we can take to drastically cut carbon pollution, live and work more comfortably, and help householders take control of their energy use," Mr Garrett said.

Energy rating labels have been helping Australians compare the efficiency of whitegoods for over 20 years, and are now appearing on one of Australia's most-popular household appliances: the television.

"In Australia, we buy over two million TVs every year, adding to the 18 million already in homes and businesses. In a single day, a large widescreen TV can use more energy than a dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer combined," Mr Garrett said.

"For the first time, TVs imported into Australia must now meet new minimum energy performance standards and display an energy rating label, helping consumers select the most efficient model that suits their needs and budget," he said.

The energy rating scale for fridges, freezers and air conditioners has also been increased from six stars to 10 stars, helping consumers better differentiate between an 'efficient' product and a 'super efficient' product. New models must now also meet even stricter minimum energy performance standards.

"The race is on for Australia's first 'super efficient' whitegoods, and you can spot these products because their label will have seven or more stars," Mr Garrett said.

Inefficient lighting has also been targeted, with the traditional incandescent light bulb removed from Australian shop shelves from today.

"Lighting is the fourth highest energy user in the home. Australians spend more than $900 million a year on lighting and by switching to more efficient light bulbs householders can cut their costs by up to 80 per cent," Mr Garrett said.

"The traditional incandescent light bulb wastes 90 per cent of its energy as heat, not light, and only lasts for up to 1,000 hours."

"We are also introducing stricter performance standards for CFLs, which means that the performance and quality of CFLs will improve rapidly, and the range of choices for consumers will also increase.

"This Government has the most comprehensive range of energy efficiency measures in Australia's history.

"It's the smart, efficient actions we take everyday that will move us into a greener, cleaner and smarter future."

Commonwealth of Australia