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Computers and Computer Monitors
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Computers and computer monitors are widespread in Australia and New Zealand, with just about every home and office having one or more of each. By 2020, it’s thought that there will be more than 40 million computers in Australia and around 30 million computers in New Zealand.
The number of computer monitors will also be as large or even exceed the number of computers, as some people prefer two or more monitors for their computer, both at work and at home.
By law, computers and computer monitors sold or supplied within Australia and New Zealand must meet a minimum level of energy efficiency. Computer monitors in a store must also display an energy rating label.
The Energy Rating Label tells you how much energy the computer monitor uses per year and gives you a star rating that allows you to compare its efficiency to monitors of the same size.
Is your product regulated
All products covered by energy efficiency regulations must meet certain requirements before they can be supplied or sold in Australia or New Zealand.
Depending on the product, this may include Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), energy rating label requirements or both. There are specific requirements relevant to Australia and New Zealand.
Computers are subject to Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) requirements in Australia and New Zealand.
Computers must be tested in accordance with the method of measurement as set out in AS/NZS 5813.1 and the MEPS as specified in AS/NZS 5813.2.
Computer monitors must be tested in accordance with AS/NZS 5815.1 and meet the MEPS and labelling requirements as specified in the Determination.
Which computers are covered?
Small-scale servers, desktop, integrated and notebook computers designed to connect to 230/240v mains voltage by a direct connection, by a permanently connected external power supply or an external power supply that can be disconnected from the computer.
Which computers are excluded?
Some of the products excluded are handheld computing devices (such as smartphones), game consoles, hand held gaming devices, thin client computers, workstations, high-end computers or computer servers that are not small-scale servers. The Determination provides a full list of exclusions in Australia.
Which computer monitors are covered?
A computer monitor is a display screen whose primary function is to display visual information generated by a computer, workstation or server via a wired or wireless connection.
Which computer monitors are excluded?
- Electronic displays used exclusively for digital signage or digital picture frames.
- Electronic displays used exclusively for advertising.
- High-performance electronic displays.
- Specialised electronic displays.
- Displays used in public settings.
- Products classified, marketed or sold as televisions or TVs (including products with an integrated television tuner).
The Energy Rating Label on computer monitors
The Energy Rating Label can give you all the information you need to select the most efficient and lowest cost computer monitor (to run) that also meets your needs.
As the price of electricity can change over time and is also based on where you live, the cost of running the monitor is not given on the label. Instead, the label gives you the amount of energy the monitor uses in kilowatt hours (kWh). You can calculate the annual cost of running by multiplying the kWh figure by the cost of electricity in your area.
For example, the computer monitor you are looking at says on the label that it uses 200kWh per year. You know from your electricity bill that the price of electricity in your area is 29 cents per kWh. Simply multiple those two numbers together to find the cost of running that monitor each year. In this example, that would be $58 per year.
The number of stars on the label also helps you compare the efficiency of one computer monitor to another of the same size. For example, a 20-inch monitor with 4 stars is more efficient than another 20-inch monitor with only 3 stars. Unfortunately, the number of stars cannot be used to compare monitors of different sizes because the size of the monitor is used to calculate how many stars it can receive.
Both the energy consumption and the number of stars can be used together to give you all the information you need about the energy performance of the computer monitor. This information can then be taken into account in your purchasing decision.
For example, if two different 15-inch monitors have all the features you want but the energy rating label says Monitor A is 6 stars and uses 215kWh per year and Monitor B is 5 stars but uses 275kWh per year, you would choose Monitor A as it is more efficient than Monitor B because it uses less energy to get more stars.
Guide: Energy Rating Label
A simple, easy-to-read guide that explains how to interpret the Energy Rating Label and how purchasing a more efficient appliance can save money on energy bills.