Energy star rating to be scrapped

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The end of the energy star label is bad news for shoppers, the Green Party says. Photo / Michael Craig

By Nicholas Jones

Kiwis shopping for appliances will be worse off after the Government's decision to scrap the Energy Star label, the Green Party says.

The blue sticker can be displayed on appliances that are the most energy efficient.

It is a different scheme to the Energy Rating label which provides a star rating to let shoppers compare the running costs of appliances, with more stars indicating better energy efficiency.

Energy Minister Judith Collins said the rating label scheme would continue and had become more relevant to consumers than the blue star sticker, which will be retired at the end of the year.

The Energy, Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) licenses the blue Energy Star label from the United States' Environmental Protection Agency.

Collins said the rationale for EECA's decision to exit the programme was based on a review that showed return on investment was low.

"Based on the findings of the review I agreed with officials' advice that the programme should be discontinued and I expressed that view to the Board in my letter of expectations dated 16 February 2017."

Gareth Hughes, the Green Party's spokesman for energy and resources, said the Trump Administration had recently decided to scrap the Energy Star system.

"Collins is copying Donald Trump, and we'd be asking why on earth you would want to do that. EECA's own data shows how successful it has been and the Government is not proposing to replace it with anything else. So consumers are going to be worse off and have less information."

Hughes said the rating label scheme that would remain in place served a different purpose as it rated appliances from the least energy efficient to the most. The soon-to-be-scrapped energy star was on only the most efficient appliances.

"So if people go out looking for the best product to buy - which of course is in the national interest - that information won't be as easily accessible."

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