MEPS currently apply to single phase units, and three phase units, and multi-split units. Single-phase non-ducted air conditioners and heat pumps must also display the energy rating label.

In May 2019, New Zealand Cabinet approved the E3 policy proposal to revise the MEPS and energy labeling requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps.

65kW and under

The proposal includes:

  • Adopting a new energy rating scale and label, based on international methodology, which identifies how air-conditioners perform in different climate zones.
    • The new rating scale will assess winter heating performance more accurately for New Zealand consumers.
    • The revised label has been available for use in Australia from April 2019 on a voluntary basis. Early voluntary registrations are also open in New Zealand for the purpose of labelling.
  • Increasing New Zealand’s residential cooling MEPS to Australia’s levels.
  • Lowering the MEPS level for double-ducted portable air conditioners and introducing MEPS at the same level for single-ducted models.
  • Resolving minor technical issues with air conditioner regulations. These include the removal of a separate H21 MEPS, simplification of multi-split2 registrations, application of MEPS to outdoor units sold as a stand-alone product, inclusion of noise rating requirements, update to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio degradation co-efficient.
  • In addition, products not required to display an Energy Rating label must provide test data to calculate the total cooling seasonal performance factor and demand response capability. Where applicable, data must be provided for heating seasonal performance factor and sound power. All registrations must continue to declare whether a product is demand response capable as per AS4755.

The Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Amendment Regulations 2020(external link) were made on 14 December 2020. This amendment includes updates to air conditioners up to 65kW energy efficiency requirements.

This amendment came into force on 1 July 2021.

What are the requirements?

Visit the air conditioner page for more information about the new requirements and transition information.

Above 65kW

Larger air conditioning units rated at a capacity 65kW or more are not currently covered by MEPS in New Zealand. They are used mainly in commercial and industrial premises.

The E3 proposal, agreed to by COAG in December 2018 and New Zealand Cabinet in May 2019, introduces MEPS for air-conditioners/heat pumps with a capacity over 65kW in New Zealand. This will commence no earlier than 1 April 2021.

The Australian Exposure Draft Determination has been released for consultation. Whilst this document is an Australian legal instrument, EECA intends to implement these measures into the New Zealand Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. We intend to harmonise New Zealand’s requirements and timing with those proposed for Australia.

More information on the Exposure draft (external link)

At present, EECA and MBIE are working with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to amend the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002 to include the above proposal.

Consultation and documents

Two rounds of consultation on this proposal occurred in 2016.

More information on the new requirements and consultation is available on the Energy Rating website.

Determination - Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Air Conditioners up to 65kW) 2019(external link)

Explanatory Statement - Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Air Conditioners up to 65kW) Determination 2019(external link)

Decision RIS – Air conditioners(external link)

Updated policy proposals - Air conditioners and chillers(external link)

More information on requirements for air conditioners(external link)

To make an enquiry or keep up to date on the progress of this proposal, contact

1H2 is the heating output performance factor of a heat pump when tested at 2 degrees ambient, this measure has been replaced by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating (SEER rating) which is the total seasonal performance factor (heating or cooling) divided by the total seasonal energy consumption (heating or cooling). The higher the SEER ratio, the more efficient the appliance is at heating or cooling during a given summer or winter season.

2A multi-split heat pump typically has one outdoor unit and a combination of indoor units.