From 15th August 2021, the way refrigerators & freezers are tested to calculate energy consumption and capacity has changed to comply with new MEPS standards.
This means that the capacity and energy ratings have changed too.
What is MEPS?
MEPS stands for minimum energy performance standards. The new testing methodology adopts the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62552-3:2015 test standard for household refrigerators and freezers, and introduces new MEPS for household refrigerators and freezers.
This change is detailed in the Energy Modelling Methodology for MEPS 2021 Compliance - July 2020 document which can be found here.
What has changed in regard to energy consumption testing?
Every refrigerator is subject to a series of tests to ascertain its energy consumption in a home environment. Previously, these tests were conducted at a maximum temperature range of 32 degrees Celsius. Now, two tests will be conducted, one at 16 degrees Celsius and the other at 32 degrees Celsius, which simulates the more typical home environment.
What does this mean to you?
This simulation will now provide a more average result and therefore energy consumption ratings (Measured in kwhr/year) may be lower than the current published figures and may have an overall impact in the energy star rating too.
What has changed in regard to capacity calculations?
A significant change will be how volumes are measured. Under the new testing requirements, when compartment volumes in refrigerators and freezers are measured, only spaces that consumers can access for storage will count towards an appliance’s total volume. These volumes are sometimes the same, but in most cases will be slightly smaller than volumes measured using the old Australian/New Zealand methodology, which sometimes included space that consumers could not access. The result is that consumers will be able to better compare the size of appliances based on their declared volumes.
For example, a manufacturer could previously claim a refrigerator as a 400 litre appliance, but under the new regime, suppliers may only be allowed to claim that the same refrigerator has 390 litres of capacity. However, the differences in claimed volumes will be dependent on the appliance’s characteristics. For example, the volume of a chest freezer that is not frost free will not change because all of the space inside the freezer compartment is accessible to the user. However, the volume of an upright freezer that has cold air ducting space that cannot be accessed to store food will not be included in the volume that consumers see on the energy rating label.
How can tell which fridge is measured in the new ratings & capacities?
From 15 August 2021 all refrigerators manufactured or imported must comply with the new Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), however products manufactured or imported before this date that do not meet new MEPS can be sold by suppliers indefinitely.
This means that you may have 2 products with the same model number in-store side by side with varying capacities and energy ratings. The products will be essentially the same, one will have been manufactured before 15 August 2021, and the other post that date. The model SKU will remain unchanged.
Attached is a full list of before and after capacities and energy ratings for products that have been affected by this change.
|Brand||Model name on Energy label (Final)||Volume (Litres)
|Energy Star (New Std.)||New Energy on label (kwh/y)||Volume (Litres) old Std.||Energy Star (old Std.)||Old Energy on label (kwh/y)|