Air conditioners and heat pumps
From 1 April 2013 all heat pump/air conditioners must, by law, meet revised minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) to be sold in New Zealand. Energy rating labels are required for most models. If you import or manufacture heat pump/air conditioners, this page outlines the requirements and how to meet them.
Why have MEPS and labelling for heat pump/air conditioners?
The use of an increasingly large number of reverse cycle air conditioners, often used as heat pumps in New Zealand is contributing to the nation's energy consumption. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 households now have one or more heat pumps installed, which use 1,100 Giga Watt hours annually.
Minimum standards improve heat pump efficiency, giving consumers a more efficient range of products to choose from, saving on running costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the products. Energy rating labels enable customers to compare models, and to choose an efficient heat pump.
Which heat pumps / air conditioners are affected by MEPS?
Most heat pump/air conditioners that are imported or manufactured in New Zealand for sale or hire, including:
- Single or three phase heat pump / air conditioners, that are either
- Ducted or non ducted models, with a
- Rated cooling capacity up to 65 kW, of a
- Vapour compression type
Energy rating labels
Single phase non-ducted heat pump / air conditioners must be provided with an energy rating label as shown below. The stars in red are for heating efficiency, the stars in blue are for cooling efficiency.
The details for MEPS and labelling are specified in AS/NZS 3823.2:2011 including Amd A.
See the running costs calculator to find out how a choosing a high star rating can reduce the cost to run a heat pump.
What do I need to do to comply with the law?
As an importer or manufacturer of heat pump/air conditioners, you are required to:
Step 1: Ensure each model has been tested to the specified test standard or simulation standard.
Step 2: Ensure each model has efficiencies that meet or exceed the minimum energy performance levels specified in AS/NZS 3823.2:2011 Amd A
Step 3: Register each model through the energy rating website.
Step 4: Provide an energy rating label for each single phase non ducted model as detailed in AS/NZS 3823.2:2011 Amd A
Step 5: Provide product sales, import and export data each year to EECA.
- Which air conditioners are specifically excluded from the requirements?
The following heat pump/air conditioners do not need to comply with MEPS and labelling:
- Ground-water and Ground-loop heat pumps / air conditioners as defined in AS/NZS3823.1.3
- Multi split heat pumps / air conditioners (where two or more indoor units are connected to one outdoor unit)
- Portable heat pumps / air conditioners with a condenser exhaust duct
- Heat pumps / Air conditioners specifically designed and sold only for installation in mobile applications of caravans, mobile homes, campervans, boats and rail cars
- Products that deliver conditioned fresh outdoor air to an indoor conditioned spac
- Ducted heat pumps / air conditioners, and
- Three phase heat pumps / air conditioners, and
- Single phase non-ducted heat pumps / air conditioners that meet all of the following conditions
- designed for non-residential applications; and
- not on display for sale through retails outlets; and
- not promoted in any catalogue or advertising material that could be interpreted as suitable for some residential applications
- What are the test standards?
The test methods are set out in:
- AS/NZS 3823.1.1 for non-ducted heat pumps / air conditioners
- AS/NZS 3823.1.2 for ducted heat pumps / air conditioners
- AS/NZS 3823.1.3 for Water-source heat pumps / air conditioners
- AS/NZS 3823.1.4 for Multi split heat pumps / air conditioners (from April 2014), and
- AS/NZS 3823.3:2002 (for computer simulation as an alternative to testing).
- What are the minimum energy efficiency levels?
The minimum energy efficiency levels for heat pump / air conditioners that must be met from April 2013 in New Zealand are:
Product description Cooling MEPS levels
Heating MEPS levels
Non-ducted unitary <10 kW 2.84 3.10 Non-ducted unitary 10 kW to <19 kW 3.10 3.10 Non-ducted split <4 kW 3.33 3.66 Non-ducted split 4 kW to <10 kW 2.93 3.22 Non-ducted split 10 kW to <19 kW 3.10 3.10 Ducted < 10 kW 2.75 3.10 Ducted 10 kW to <19 kW 3.10 3.10 All 19 kW to 39 kW 3.10 3.10 All >39kW 2.90 2.90
Note: There has been no change to the labelling requirements from the previous requirement.
- How are annual heating and cooling efficiencies calculated?
AEER is the cooling performance measured as Annualised Energy Efficiency Ratio.
ACOP is the heating performance measured as Annualised Coefficient of Performance.
These are calculated to include stand by power use. Stand-by is defined as "the average power consumption of the air conditioner when not providing a cooling or heating or air circulation function for the user".AEER = (Tested cooling input x 2,000) / (Tested cooling effective power input x 2,000) + (Pnoc x 6.76)
Where, Pnoc is the non-operating power (in Watts) in cooling mode.
ACOP = (Tested Heating input x 2,000) / (Tested heating effective power input x 2,000) + (Pnoh x 6.76)
Where, Pnoh is the non-operating power (in Watts) in heating mode.
- How is the star rating calculated?
The AEER and ACOP are used to calculate the Star Rating Index (SRI) for the labels.
The SRI for cooling is calculated using the following equation.SRI Cooling = [(AEER X 8) - 18] / 4
The SRI for heating is calculated using the following equation.
SRI Heating = [(ACOP X 8) - 18] / 4The star rating (or number of stars on the energy rating label) is based on the SRI rounded down to the nearest ½ a star - i.e an SRI of 3.27 would have 3 stars on the label. Table 2.1 in AS/NZS3823.2:2011 specifies the star rating based on the SRI.
The table below shows the relationship between ACOP & AEER and the label star rating.
AEER and ACOP 2.75 3.00 3.25 3.50 3.75 4.00 4.25 4.50 4.75 5.00 5.25 Star rating 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
- What future changes are planned for multi splits?
Multi split systems are intended to be included in MEPS in 2014. The MEPS levels from April 2014 will be:
Multi split AC Category Cooling AEER and
Non-ducted multi-split <4kW 3.66 Non-ducted multi split 4kW to < 10kW 3.22 Non-ducted split 10kW to <19kW 3.10
The details for multi split MEPS will be specified in AS/NZS 3823.2:2013. The test standard is AS/NZS 3823.1.4:2012. Multi split systems can use computer simulation as an alternative to testing, using the methods detailed in AS/NZS 3823.3:2002.
It is intended to move to AS/NZS 3823.2:2013 for other MEPS requirements in the future, and products registered in Australia to this standard will be accepted for sale in New Zealand. The New Zealand MEPS levels will remain the unchanged.
- How do I register an air conditioner on the Energy Rating website?
Download our quick start guide to take you through the process step-by-step.
If you haven't used the energyrating.gov.au website before, the steps to take are:
Step 1: Go to the Energy Rating website registration page. https://reg.energyrating.gov.au/accounts/register/
Step 2: Create an account and then log in.
Step 3: Create an Applicant and add contact people, brands, laboratories and manufacturers as required.
Step 4: Create a new product registration (you may need a test report).
Step 5: Select Computer.
Step 6: Follow the steps outlined in the left hand column until all fields are complete.
Step 7: Once submitted you will be emailed a Registration ID. Record this in your system; you will need it to provide sales data each year.
- What information do I need to provide to EECA each year and how do I do it?
Importers into New Zealand, and New Zealand manufacturers of products covered by the energy efficiency regulations are legally required to provide statistical information on sales, import and export data annually to EECA.
Data needs to be submitted each year by 1 August, for the period 1 April to 31 March. For example, data from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 must be received by 1 August 2012. The information is submitted through the EECA website.
To access this section of the EECA website you need to:
Step 1: Set up a user account at www.eeca.govt.nz/user/register/supplier
Step 2: Once your account has been approved, you can log in at www.eeca.govt.nz/user/register/supplier/login
Step 3: Once logged in, you will find links and instructions for the EECA sales data return tool.
Step 4: Each year, EECA will email you on the 31 March to let you know the website is available to enter your products' sales, import and export data.
Step 5: Enter your product data. You will need the Registration ID or Registration number as outlined above in Step 7. The following information is required for each registered model:
- Sales in New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.
- Imports into New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.
- Exports from New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.
- ENERGY STAR® for heat pumps
EECA has introduced the ENERGY STAR mark on whiteware and other home appliances - including heat pumps. This voluntary, international endorsement mark enables consumers to identify which models are the most energy efficient.
Because some heat pumps struggle to work effectively when the weather is very cold, winter performance of heat pumps has recently been included in the ENERGY STAR requirements. This means that a heat pump has been tested and works well at 2ºC.
New ENERGY STAR specifications have been developed for heat pumps and ducted heat pumps for endorsement labelling. With 1 April 2013 increases to minimum energy performance standards for heat pump/air conditioners, EECA has also increased the stringency of the ENERGY STAR specifications for these products. The two specifications become effective on 1 April 2013. For details, see the specifications below.
Find out more about ENERGY STAR Partners and product listings.
- Heat pump installation guide
EECA, in conjunction with BRANZ and with input from industry, has developed a good practice guide to installing heat pumps, aimed at experienced installers of heat pumps. Good design and installation are fundamental to a heat pump system's effectiveness and efficiency.
Find out more about the good practice guide to heat pump installation.
- Energy Rating website
The Energy Rating website provides a list of Australian and New Zealand registrations, compares performance of different models, and allows you to calculate running costs of a model.
- Background documents
Consultation on three proposals to revise MEPS took place between 9 May and 8 November 2012. The relevant discussion papers are available below:
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com, or phone EECA on 0800 358 676.