Heat pumps and air conditioners

Heat pumps and air conditioners must comply with minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) if they’re to be sold in New Zealand. Multi-split air conditioners have been included in MEPS regulations since April 2014.

Download product guidelines 

Our guidelines tell you which air conditioners are covered by MEPS and energy rating labels, and how to register products and comply with regulations.

Product consultation

A Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement was developed that proposed revisions to minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for air conditioners/heat pumps and chillers. Energy efficiency for air conditioners has significantly improved since MEPS were introduced. Products sold in 2015 had an average efficiency more than 25% higher than those sold in 2004. However there is still a need to simplify and improve the standards to address a number of regulatory failures, to create better alignment with international standards, and to improve consistency between product categories. There is also potential for additional energy savings.

A number of policy options are detailed in the report to address these concerns. In summary, the RIS proposes to address the current issues by:

  • Introducing a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating system and label with a zone map and star rating. The new label would enable a customer to choose a heat pump that would perform in their local climate. In New Zealand this will be particularly useful for units installed in colder climates.
  • Aligning the Australia/New Zealand test standard for chillers with international standards from USA to reduce the regulatory cost without comprising energy efficiency outcomes.
  • Revising MEPS and energy rating labels for air conditioners to harmonise with Australia.
  • Revising MEPS and test standards for chillers.
  • Expanding the scope of MEPS and labelling requirements for air conditioners to make MEPS consistent across portable products, fixed and variable speed air conditioners, and a wider range of commercial air conditioners.

A consultation meeting was held in February 2016 and submissions closed 18 March 2016.

Heat pump installation guide

Good design and installation are fundamental to a heat pump system's effectiveness and efficiency.

Our good practice guide covers design and installation the most common type of residential heat pump system - air-to-air single-split heat pump systems (also known as reverse-cycle air conditioners), used primarily for heating.

The guide is aimed at experienced installers of heat pumps, and it gives the process to follow for system design and installation into both new and existing homes.

You can download the guide below, or to request a free printed copy (or copies) of the guide, email info@eeca.govt.nz