Minimum Energy Performance Standards

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) programs are mandatory in Australia and New Zealand and are enforced by state government legislation and regulations in Australia and national regulations in New Zealand. Regulations specify the general requirements for MEPS appliances, including offences and penalties if a party does not comply with the requirements.

How does MEPS affect Air Conditioners?

For air conditioners, the measure of energy efficiency is the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for cooling and the Coefficient of Performance (COP) for heating. The EER and COP are defined as the capacity output divided by the power input. This is achieved by the use of a refrigeration heat pump which collects internal heat and moves it outside when in cooling mode, or collects ambient heat from outside and moves it inside when in heating mode. The apparent efficiency of heat pumps is high as they can move much more low grade energy in the form of heat than the electrical energy they require.

Air conditioning systems are a major energy end use and contributor to peak load growth in the commercial and residential sectors and this has lead to Government intervention in view of controlling energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The lifetime electricity cost represents a large component – in most cases the major part – of the cost of owning and operating air conditioning systems. Prior to energy labelling, part of the air conditioner market appeared to be subject to information failure – where users do not have access to accurate and consistent information about product energy efficiency or the full costs of owning and operating products.

This is why mandatory MEPS were introduced. Mandatory MEPS are the most effective policy to overcome the market failure regarding whole of life costs and to meet the objectives of both increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Quality Air would like to thank E3 Equipment Energy Efficiency for providing the above information. To read more about MEPS, visit their site www.energyrating.gov.au

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