From October 2009, all televisions sold in Australia will come with a MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) label like the one shown here, which will give you an idea of the television's energy efficiency. All televisions will have an energy rating of over 1 star. The maximum rating for a TV is 10 stars, and while ratings between 1 and 6 stars can also be given in half-star increments, anything over 6 stars is only given in full stars.
But how are these star ratings calculated?
Energy rating labels
Energy ratings on TVs are calculated by a standard assumption of 10 hours being in 'on' mode, and 14 hours of inactive 'standby' mode, per day.
Energy rating labels on televisions show:
- A star rating - the higher the number of stars, the more energy efficient the product is compared to other products of the same screen size
- Energy consumption - the estimated electricity used by the TV per year, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year
A star is given for a 20% reduction in energy usage over the previous star - so, for example, a 3 star product will use 20% less energy than a 2 star product. If you're looking for more than just the rating, you can also make you own general estimates about what the TV will cost you on energy bills:
- Running cost - to estimate a general figure, multiply the energy consumption figure by the rate per kWh shown on your last electricity bill
- Greenhouse gas emissions - despite variations depending on your electricity contract and area, assume each kWh equals 1kg worth of greenhouse gas emissions
What does this mean when I'm buying a new TV?
In short, what MEPS does is allow you to base your decision not just on the display technology, but also on how much energy it will use - which, in turn, affects the ongoing costs to run it. By choosing an energy efficient TV, you will both reduce the cost of your electricity bill, and decrease your carbon footprint.
Why do TVs come with MEPS labels?
Under government regulations, MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) demands the mandatory labelling of all TV products sold in Australia. These regulations are designed to not only minimise energy consumption in Australia, but also to give people an easy way to make an informed decision when buying a television.