Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Determinations/Other as made
This determination covers the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standard (GEMS) requirements for remote refrigerated display cabinets and self-contained refrigerated display cabinets, and commercial refrigerators and freezers and ordinarily supplied and used for the sale or display of food products including beverages.
Administered by: Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Registered 31 Oct 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR01-Nov-2012
Tabled Senate01-Nov-2012
Date of repeal 01 May 2021
Repealed by Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Cabinets) Determination 2020

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Issued by the authority of the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

 

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012

 

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Display Cabinets) Determination 2012

Purpose

The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Display Cabinets) Determination 2012 (Determination) establishes minimum energy efficiency requirements, and associated requirements for conducting tests, for refrigerated display cabinets.

The Determination is one of an initial suite of 19 determinations by which responsibility for the regulation of energy efficiency and energy labelling has been transitioned from the States and Territories to the Commonwealth.

Background

The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (Act) establishes a national framework for regulating the energy efficiency of products supplied or used within Australia, implementing Australian Government and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commitments to establish national legislation to regulate energy efficiency and labelling standards for appliances and other products. The national legislation permits the Australian Government to set mandatory minimum efficiency requirements for products, to drive greater energy efficiency for regulated products. The Act also allows the Australian Government to set nationally-consistent labelling requirements, to increase Australians’ awareness of options to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The national framework replaced seven state and territory legislative frameworks, harmonising the regulation of equipment energy efficiency.

Under the previous state and territory legislative frameworks, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and energy labelling requirements were set out in Australian or Australian/New Zealand Standards and incorporated by reference in regulations, which were usually made under the relevant state or territory electrical safety legislation. The commitment made to industry in the development of the national legislation was that, to the greatest extent possible, the transition to Commonwealth regulation would simply reproduce the regulatory requirements that existed under state and territory law. As a result, the practice of setting the requirements by reference to the relevant Australian or Australian/New Zealand Standards has been continued in this initial suite of determinations made under the Act, albeit with some departures in order to enshrine in the law various rulings made over time by state regulators, and certain administrative practices that had developed over time in the COAG Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3 Program), to provide certainty to the regulated community.

Selected definitions and text are extracted in the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Determinations from the relevant Australian or Australian/New Zealand Standards. This is done with the intention of making it possible to determine if a product is covered (or excluded) by the GEMS Determination without first having to purchase the relevant standard.

Under state and territory regulation energy efficiency requirements have generally related to the amount of energy used in operating a product. This will continue under Commonwealth regulation but may in the future include the amount of greenhouse gases resulting from operating the product or the effect of a product on the amount of energy used in operating another product.

Energy labelling requirements primarily relate to requirements for the display of energy rating labels, such as those commonly seen on products including refrigerators, dishwashers and televisions, amongst others. Energy rating labels allow consumers to compare the energy consumption of similar products, and factor potential cost savings into their purchasing decision. For some products labelling requirements also relate to specific information that must be marked on the product itself or the box in which it is supplied.

Other regulatory requirements include requirements relating to high efficiency levels, product performance, and the impact of the product on the environment or the health of human beings:

    • High efficiency level requirements allow suppliers or manufacturers to differentiate more efficient products in the market where the product does not carry an energy rating label, provided they meet a specified efficiency benchmark over and above the nominated GEMS level requirements.
    • Product performance requirements are intended to ensure that minimum efficiency requirements or a higher number of stars on an energy rating label are not achieved by reducing the effectiveness of the product in its primary function. An example of this is the setting of minimum requirements for soil removal for clothes washers.
    • Requirements in relation to the impact of a product on the environment or the health of human beings are intended to ensure that greater energy efficiency does not come at the expense of the environment or human health. An example of this is the setting of a maximum limit for the amount of mercury that may be contained in a compact fluorescent or linear fluorescent lamp. Some level of mercury is necessary for these energy efficient lamps to operate so limits are set to keep mercury content within safe levels for human health and the environment.

Legislative basis

Under subsection 23(1) of the Act the Minister may, by legislative instrument, make a determination (a GEMS determination) that specifies one or more classes of products if the products in those classes use energy or affect the amount of energy used by other products. A GEMS determination is the vehicle by which energy efficiency requirements (GEMS level requirements), energy labelling requirements (GEMS labelling requirements) for classes of products and other requirements for a product class are established.

Under section 25 of the Act the GEMS level requirements specified in a GEMS determination may be:

  • requirements relating to one or more of the following:
    • the amount of energy used in operating products in relevant product classes;
    • the amount of greenhouse gases resulting from operating products in the relevant product class;
    • the effect of those products on the amount of energy used by operating other products; and
  • requirements for conducting tests in relation to products in the relevant product class in order to determine whether the products meet the specified requirements.

Under section 26 of the Act the GEMS labelling requirements specified in a GEMS determination may be:

  • requirements relating to the information that must be communicated in connection with supplying or offering to supply products in the relevant product class;
  • requirements relating to the manner in which that information must be communicated; and
  • requirements for conducting tests in relation to products in the relevant product class in order to determine whether the products meet the specified requirements.

Under section 27 of the Act other requirements that may be specified in a GEMS determination are:

  • requirements for products in the relevant product class to meet a specified level (the high efficiency level);
  • requirements relating to the performance of products in the relevant product class;
  • requirements relating to the impact of products in that product class on the environment or on the health of human beings;
  • requirements for conducting tests in relation to products in the relevant product class in order to determine whether the products meet the specified requirements; and
  • requirements of a kind specified in the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

Families of models

Section 28 of the Act provides that a GEMS determination must specify, for each product class covered by the determination, the circumstances in which two or more models in that product class are in the same family of models. This follows from the requirement in section 11 of the Act that a registration may only cover two or more models if those models are a family of models.

 

The Act does not place constraints on the allowable circumstances. The general approach taken under the E3 Program to date has been designed to accommodate situations where manufacturers have a number of very similar products with the same energy performance characteristics, with minor cosmetic or other physical differences that lead to them being sold as different models but do not affect energy use. In such circumstances it is reasonable to allow the models to be covered by a single ‘family’ registration, as long as all models in the family are covered by the same test report or series of test reports.

 

For example, a refrigerator/freezer of a particular volume might be available in white and stainless steel, with both left-opening and right-opening doors. Each of the four possible combinations of features is given a different model designator by the manufacturer to facilitate ordering, however, they could easily have the same designator as the differences are only cosmetic. Assuming the differences did not affect the energy use of the products, and any other requirements were complied with, the four models could be registered as a family.

 

An applicant may elect to apply for registration of different models as a family of models, which would involve a single registration, or to apply for separate registration of each model.

 

If a model is registered in a family of models, a decision to suspend or cancel the registration of that model will have the effect that each model within the family of models is suspended or cancelled (see Part 5, Division 6 of the Act). Therefore, if a model in a family of models fails compliance testing (“check testing”), the compliance action that may be taken by the GEMS Regulator will affect the registration of all models in that family.

 

Consultation

The Australian Government conducted extensive consultation with Australian businesses throughout the development of the Act. In the development of this Determination, Australian businesses were further consulted on ‘family of models’ circumstances in the Determinations (discussed below). Australian businesses were not consulted on the other provisions of this Determination (or the other Determinations in the initial suite of 19) as those provisions reproduce the requirements that existed under state and territory legislation.

Industry stakeholders representing all regulated product types were consulted in June and July 2012 on a proposed approach to the circumstances in which two or more models of products could be in a family of models. The aim of the consultation was to develop a streamlined and consistent approach to families of models across all product types. The consultation raised some general issues and some specific issues that are unique to particular product classes. It was decided that these issues could only be addressed with a detailed review of each of the family of models circumstances for each product type. A commitment was made to review the family of models treatment under GEMS for each product type over time. Lighting products have already been reviewed, and the results of the review were incorporated into the relevant determinations in the initial suite of 19. For products that have not had a review it was decided that the family of models treatment in previous state and territory regulation and practice would be carried over in the GEMS Determinations.

Extensive consultation was undertaken with state and territory government policy officers, state regulators, and technical consultants to ensure that the requirements established in the Determinations did not go beyond the scope of the previously existing state and territory requirements. The draft determinations were amended to reflect the outcome of the consultations.

Regulatory Impact

A comprehensive COAG Regulatory Impact Statement (the GEMS RIS) was prepared as part of the process of developing the Act.  The regulatory proposals encapsulated by the Determinations fall within the scope of the GEMS RIS, and only reproduce regulatory requirements for business that already existed under state and territory legislation.  Consequently, no further regulatory impact analysis was considered neccesary in relation to the regulatory proposal.

Detailed description of the Determination

Details of the Determination are set out at Attachment A.

Statement of compatibility with human rights

A statement of compatibility with human rights for the purposes of Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 is set out at Attachment B.


Attachment A

Details of the Determination

 

Section 1 – Name of Determination

This section sets out the title of the Determination.

 

Section 2 – Commencement

This section provides that the Determination commences the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments. The default 12 month period that otherwise applies to the commencement of a GEMS determination, as provided for by paragraph 34(a) of the Act, is not necessary with respect to this Determination because it reproduces in Commonwealth law the energy efficiency and energy labelling requirements that previously existed in state and territory legislation.

 

Section 3 – Definitions

This section sets out definitions for key terms used in the Determination. The definitions include:

 

  • definitions relating to the various Australian/New Zealand Standards by which the requirements of the Determination are specified;
  • a definition of “refrigerated display cabinet”, which is given the same meaning as in Australian Standard AS 1731.1-2003;
  • definitions of other terms related to “refrigerated display cabinet”, which are given the same meaning as in AS 1731.1-2003, or their own meaning, as applicable;
  • a definition of “CIE Standard”, which is a standard that is published by, or on behalf of, the International Commission on Illumination;
  • a definition of “IEC Standard”, which is a standard published by, or on behalf of, the International Electrotechnical Commission; and
  • a definition of “standard”, which means an Australian Standard, an Australian/New Zealand Standard, an IEC Standard or any other equivalent document.

 

Section 4 – Interpretation

Section 4 provides guidance for interpreting certain aspects of the Determination.

 

Subsection 4(1)

 

The purpose of this subsection is to avoid any inconsistency in terminology between the Determination (and other elements of the GEMS legislation) and the standards referenced in section 3 of the Determination. It indicates that where a term used in the Determination is not defined in any part of the GEMS legislation, but is defined in a standard referenced in section 3, for the purposes of the Determination the term has the meaning set out in the applicable standard.

 

Subsection 4(2)

 

Unless otherwise specified, the applicable version of a document incorporated by reference in a legislative instrument is the version that existed on the date the instrument came into force. This is made clear for standards specifically referenced in section 3 of the Determination. However, often these standards refer to other standards or documents which also contain requirements that must be applied to give effect to the Determination or a standard referred to in the Determination. The purpose of this subsection is to make clear that the applicable version of these further documents is also the version that existed on the day the Determination came into force.

 

Section 5 – Specified product classes covered by the Determination

Section 5 sets out the scope of the Determination with respect to the class of products that it covers.

 

Subsection 5(1)

 

Subsection 5(1) provides that the Determination covers products that are:

 

  • remote refrigerated display cabinets and self-contained refrigerated display cabinets, as defined in section 3 and subsection 5(4), in the product classes set out at subsection 5(2);
  • commercial refrigerators and freezers; and
  • ordinarily supplied and used for the sale or display of food products including beverages.

 

This reflects the scope of the regulations for this product type under the previous state and territory legislation, as it was set out in the Australian Standard AS 1731.14-2003 (Refrigerated display cabinets. Part 14: Minimum energy performance Standard (MEPS) requirements), which also references AS 1731.1-2003 (Refrigerated display cabinets. Part 1: Terms and definitions).

 

Subsection 5(2)

 

Subsection 5(2) specifies the product classes that are covered by the Determination. The product classes are specified by reference to the product types described in tables A1, A2 and A3 of Appendix A of AS 1731.14-2003.

 

Prospective registrants will need to refer to the relevant standards to determine which product class their product belongs to.

 

Subsection 5(3)

 

This subsection sets out product classes that are not covered by the Determination.  These are refrigerated vending machines, ice-makers and refrigerated cabinets intended for use in catering and similar non-retail applications. This reflects the product classes excluded under the previous state and territory legislation.

 


Subsection 5(4)

 

This subsection defines the terms “Fan Coil”, “Gravity Coil”, “non retail application”, “remote refrigerated display cabinet” and “self-contained refrigerated display cabinet” for the purposes of section 5. (The terms “remote refrigerated display cabinet” and “self-contained refrigerated display cabinet” are given the same meaning as they have in AS 1731.14-2003).  The terms are included here to assist in ascertaining whether a product is covered by this Determination without the need to refer to the relevant standard.

 

Section 6 – GEMS level requirements

Section 6 specifies GEMS level requirements for energy use for refrigerated display cabinets covered by the Determination, including requirements for conducting tests in order to demonstrate compliance with the energy use requirements, under section 25 of the Act.

 

Subsection 6(1)

 

This subsection provides that the GEMS level requirements in relation to energy use are those set out in:

 

·       Table 2.1 at clause 2.1 of AS 1731.14-2003 for products in product classes 1 to 24 in the table at subsection 5(2); and

·       Table 2.2 at clause 2.2 of AS 1731.14-2003 for products in product classes 25 to 34.

 

Subsection 6(2)

 

This subsection specifies that the requirements for conducting tests are those set out in section 2 of AS 1731.14-2003 in relation to energy use.  The subsection also sets out additional rules for how tests must be conducted depending on whether the product:

 

  • has non-integral equipment (for example, equipment such as signage that is hung from the refrigerated display cabinet but does not draw power from it);
  • has integral equipment (that is, equipment that draws power from the cabinet);
  • is in product classes 25 to 34, and does not have a user adjustable temperature controller; or
  • is in product classes 25 to 34, and has a user adjustable temperature controller that can be set so that the product operates within certain specified parameters.

 

The additional rules enshrine in law guidance provided to industry in regulatory rulings previously issued under the E3 Program, to account for circumstances not adequately covered in the testing requirements set out in AS 1731.14-2003.

 

Section 7 – GEMS labelling requirements

There are no GEMS labelling requirements for refrigerated display cabinets covered by the Determination.

 

Section 8 – Other GEMS requirements

Section 8 specifies other GEMS requirements in relation to the high efficiency level for refrigerated display cabinets covered by the Determination, including requirements for conducting tests in order to demonstrate compliance with the high efficiency level requirements, under section 27 of the Act.

 

A high efficiency level is a concept that will help to distinguish the most efficient product models in each product class, assisting businesses to promote highly efficient products.  Products need not meet the high efficiency level but those which do will be entitled to use the more distinctive high efficiency claim and a higher energy performance mark – for as long as they meet the high efficiency level (which may change over time to encourage greater efficiency).

 

Subsection 8(1)

 

This subsection provides that the requirements for refrigerated display cabinets covered by the Determination to meet the high efficiency level are those set out in:

 

·       Table 3.1 at clause 3.1 of AS 1731.14-2003 for products in product classes 1 to 24; and

·       Table 3.2 at clause 3.2 of AS 1731.14-2003 for products in product classes 25 to 34.

 

Subsection 8(2)

 

This subsection specifies that the requirements for conducting tests are those set out in section 2 of AS 1731.14-2003 in relation to energy use.  The subsection also sets out additional rules for how tests must be conducted depending on whether the product:

 

  • has non-integral equipment (for example, equipment such as signage that is hung from the refrigerated display cabinet but does not draw power from it);
  • has integral equipment (that is, equipment that draws power from the cabinet);
  • is in product classes 25 to 34, and does not have a user adjustable temperature controller; or
  • is in product classes 25 to 34, and has a user adjustable temperature controller that can be set so that the product operates within certain specified parameters.

 

The additional rules enshrine in law guidance provided to industry in regulatory rulings previously issued under the E3 Program, to account for circumstances not adequately covered in the testing requirements set out in AS 1731.14-2003.

 

Section 9 – Family of models

Section 28 of the Act provides that a GEMS determination must specify, for each product class covered by the determination, the circumstances in which two or more models in that product class are in the same family of models. 

 

This section specifies that the family of models circumstances for refrigerated display cabinets in a single product class covered by this Determination are those set out in subclause 1.5.1 of AS 1731.14-2003.

 

Section 10 – Product categories

Section 29 of the Act requires that a GEMS determination specify whether the products it covers are category A or category B products. Category B products are subject to lower penalties than category A products for certain offences under the Act, on the basis that category B products have a high impact on energy use or greenhouse gas production.

 

Section 10 specifies that refrigerated display cabinets covered by the Determination are category A products.

 


Attachment B

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Display Cabinets) Determination 2012

 

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Legislative Instrument

The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Display Cabinets) Determination 2012 prescribes matters relating to minimum energy efficiency requirements for refrigerated display cabinets under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012. The Determination establishes requirements for energy use (including high efficiency levels), including requirements for conducting tests in order to demonstrate compliance with those requirements. The Determination also sets out the circumstances in which two or more models in a product class may be a family of models, and establishes the applicable product category for the purposes of calculating certain penalties under the Act.

Human rights implications

This Legislative Instrument does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency