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The E3 Program

The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program aims to improve the energy efficiency of appliances in Australia and New Zealand. This is good for everyone as it reduces our energy use (which in turn reduces our electricity bills) and lowers emissions.

The E3 Work Plan is underpinned by requirements under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012.

Policy development

As a COAG initiative, the Commonwealth, States and Territories and New Zealand develop policy in consultation with Industry to improve the energy efficiency of appliances.

Program delivery

In Australia, regulation (both mandatory and voluntary measures) is administered by the Australian GEMS Regulator, based in the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy.

Read more about the GEMS Regulator’s responsibilities.

In New Zealand, the programme is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Read more about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

We improve the energy efficiency of appliances through a range of mandatory and voluntary measures, set out below.

Energy Rating Labelling

The Energy Rating Label is the visible face of our program. This label communicates the energy efficiency of an appliance through the use of stars as well as displaying the annual energy consumption. The more stars the less electricity used which results in lower running costs of an appliance.

Find out more

Minimum Energy Performance Standards

Standards specify the minimum level of energy performance that appliances must meet before they can be sold in Australia or New Zealand. This measure protects consumers from purchasing highly inefficient products.

Find out more

High Energy Performance Standards

This is a voluntary measure to identify the most energy efficient products within a class.  Participating suppliers must be able to demonstrate that their product meets the standard. 

Codes of Conduct

This type of measure is particularly relevant where a small number of players dominate a market. For example, a voluntary agreement exists with the dominant market player (Foxtel) to improve the energy efficiency of set top boxes.

Education and training

We undertake a range of activities to support consumers in purchasing energy efficient appliances. This includes engagement with retailers and tradies who have the direct interaction with consumers. Further, there is range of information and resources available on this website. Your Energy Savings also provides great ideas on how to save energy and money.

International engagement

Our policies can only make sense if considered in the global context, particularly given our reliance on imports. 

Consultation with international stakeholders and alignment to existing international standards is a key outcome for the E3 Program.  E3 also participates in developing product specific standards for the Australian and New Zealand market where no appropriate international standard exists.  

As an advanced economy we are also committed to assisting our neighbours in transitioning to more energy efficient appliances and lighting technologies.  Australia’s engagement internationally on appliance energy efficiency is undertaken by the Department of the Environment and Energy.  

Australia engages with the international community by forming agreements with various nations and currently has partnerships with the following organisations, in relation to appliance energy efficiency:

Read more about Australia’s international cooperation on appliance energy efficiency on the Department of the Environment and Energy's website.

Other activities

Demand Response

Demand Response is not part of the E3 Program’s current workplan. In 2013, the E3 Committee conducted public consultation on this issue but has decided not to proceed further at this stage. 

A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared to examine a proposal to mandate the inclusion of ‘smart appliance’ interfaces in air conditioners, pool pumps, water heaters and electric vehicle chargers. These interfaces would give consumers the choice to allow certain household appliances to be remotely controlled by their electricity provider, which would reduce the demands placed on network capacity at peak times.

Relevant documents:

Residential Energy Monitoring Program

The E3 Program initiated a Residential Energy Monitoring Project in 2009. Initially designed to be split into two stages, Stage 1 was undertaken between 2010 and 2011 and involved the measurement of five houses in Melbourne. In short, the project was intended to:

  • Undertake a comprehensive assessment of end-use metering hardware and software
  • Develop a robust methodology for end-use metering projects
  • Develop more accurate estimates of costs for an expanded end-use metering campaign
  • Develop a better understanding of the energy consumption of all end-uses found in a home.

Relevant documents

A number of outputs were generated from the program, including project reports, technical method papers and a technical workshop.

View relevant documents