New ways to improve your energy efficiency

Those looking to economise around the home by saving energy may be interested in an announcement from resources and energy minister, Gary Gray.

On May 20, Mr Gray announced that computers and computer monitors will be rated under new energy efficiency standards.

Using efficient appliances and devices around the home is one way in which Australians can avoid pricey bills and high electricity prices. The more energy efficient an appliance, the less it will cost to run in your household.

Computers are such a ubiquitous part of life now, being used constantly and almost everywhere, so the impact their energy efficiency can have is highly significant.

Currently, the government has an Equipment Energy Efficiency Program, which rates appliances in Australia and New Zealand on their efficiency, so that people can make informed choices on how eco friendly their appliances are and seek out the best options, whether shopping for a fridge, washing machine or  television.

Now, computers and computer monitors will be a part of the mix, rated so that consumers know what they're getting in terms of these items' efficiency.

The new standards for these items will be implemented from October 1 of this year. Computers and monitors will be mandated under minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) while the monitors will also have mandatory energy rating labels (ERL).

The MEPS which will regulate computers means that general efficiency requirements for the product must be complied with, and if not, there are clear penalties for the manufacturer.

An ERL on computer monitors means that when on sale, these appliances must display a label with a star rating and other information about the item's energy consumption. The star rating is between one and ten stars - the more stars, the greater its efficiency.

"The introduction of minimum performance standards for computers and monitors will reduce energy consumption, which will in turn cut costs for families and businesses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Mr Gray.

"Computers currently contribute up to three per cent of Australia's total energy consumption, with global estimates at around two per cent of global emissions. This is equivalent to all global aviation emissions."

Australia it set to be one of the first countries globally to regulate computers and monitors under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012.

Posted by Charlie Moore