On 28 May 2018, Cabinet approved the proposed updates to regulations for Commercial Refrigeration products.

This follows approval by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Ministers (including Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods) agreed to the Decision Regulation Impact Statement for commercial refrigerated display and storage cabinets and accepted the following recommendations:

  • Adopt the international (ISO) test method for refrigerated display cabinets and European test methods for other refrigerated display cabinet types and storage cabinets.
  • Increase Australasian MEPS levels to align with European Commission MEPS levels.

Refrigerated Cabinets Determination Exposure Draft

In November 2017, the COAG Energy Council agreed to implement the recommendations contained in the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement: Refrigerated display and storage cabinets.

Accordingly, implementation is underway to introduce tighter MEPS for refrigerated display cabinets, and introduce MEPS for storage cabinets and ice cream freezers adopting international test standards for all affected models.

The proposed changes are designed to reduce commercial energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and also reduce the regulatory burden on industry by adopting an international test standard used by many of our major trading partners.

In New Zealand, the relevant legislation is the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. Whilst the Determination is an Australian legal document, it may be of interest to New Zealand stakeholders as the New Zealand Government is proposing to adopt changes to its Regulations to align with the replacement Determination.

What are the new requirements?

No earlier than January 2020, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of refrigerated cabinets sold in Australia and New Zealand will need to ensure that their products:

  • have been tested to the relevant European standards to determine their energy consumption
  • have been registered on the Energy Rating website
  • do not exceed the prescribed levels for energy consumption.

Broadly speaking, these requirements will apply to refrigerated display cabinets, refrigerated drinks cabinets, ice cream freezer cabinets, ice cream scooping cabinets, and refrigerated storage cabinets.

Exclusions will apply for refrigerated vending machines, icemakers, and cabinets that are designed for food processing as well as storage.

Key documents

Exposure Draft – Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Cabinets) Determination 2018 (external link)

Companion Document - Consultation on Legal Requirements for Refrigerated Display and Storage Cabinets(external link)


The closing date for written submissions was Friday 14 December 2018.

Implementation Paper

On 10 May 2018, stakeholders were invited to comment on the Implementation update: Refrigerated display and storage cabinets paper. Stakeholders included industry associations and manufacturers. Four submissions were received.

The implementation paper updated and sought feedback from industry on the implementation of the proposals.

The paper also updates stakeholders and industry on developments since they were consulted on the recommendations of the trans-Tasman Technical Working Group in August 2017.  The implementation date for all proposals will be no earlier than 1 December 2019. 

Key implementation steps and dates

  • Minor variations have been made to the relevant EU Standards so they are suitable for local consumption.
  • EEI methodology and calculations have been developed for all cabinet group types.
  • A proposed star rating scale has been developed which will allocate a number of stars to different models depending on their EEI.
  • The registration system is being upgraded and will be operational by 1 December 2018. New inputs will be required for the new registration channels: single registrations and low production volume/bespoke registrations (formerly referred to as “deemed to comply”), both of which will have a families of models option.
  • Transitional arrangements have been identified for both countries prior to the implementation date. These will enable existing compliant registrations to roll over to EEI registrations. They also provide the opportunity for non-compliant registrations to be upgraded to meet the new requirements.
  • An exposure draft of the Determination will be released to stakeholders mid-2018.
  • It is proposed that the Determination will be finalised and published on 1 December 2018.  
  • The Australian Determination will come into force no earlier than 1 December 2019, and will coincide with corresponding amendments to the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002 in New Zealand.

Implementation Update Refrigerated Display and Storage Cabinets(external link)

Regulatory Impact Statement

Decision RIS - Refrigerated Display and Storage Cabinets(external link)

Consultation on this proposal occurred in 2016.

Consultation RIS - Refrigerated Display and Storage Cabinets(external link)

For more information on how these decisions are being implemented in New Zealand, contact EECA at regs@eeca.govt.nz.