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2019 Year In Review


2019 Year In Review

Topic: GEMS

Looking back on the year that was

As 2019 winds down and the holiday season falls upon us, we look back on the year that was for the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Regulator – and what a year it was!

Four new product determinations were introduced in 2019, kicking off with the new Air Conditioners Determination (for models up to 65 kilowatts) in April, which included the introduction of a brand new energy rating label called the Zoned Energy Rating Label, or ZERL.

In July, an updated Electric Motors Determination was introduced, following extensive industry feedback.

August was a big month for refrigeration regulation, with new determinations introduced for household fridges & freezers and refrigerated cabinets.

To support the introduction of the Air Conditioners Determination and the ZERL, the GEMS Regulator ran a series of information sessions around Australia for retailers, suppliers and installers to assist them in helping customers choose an efficient air conditioner for their climate. One of these sessions was filmed and is available to view on our website.

The GEMS Regulator and the New Zealand Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) also attended the Fine Foods Fair in Sydney in September to engage with industry on the regulatory changes for refrigerated cabinets.

As we implemented new Determinations in the registration system, we also improved existing functions, such as providing updated help advice throughout the system and new step-by-step help videos. We also implemented a facility to allow registrants to upgrade existing air conditioner registrations to the new Determination to enable them to use the ZERL.

We continued to demonstrate good service and support for our stakeholders, which was reflected in our annual GEMS Stakeholder Survey. Overall satisfaction levels remained high at 83%, while the number of participants responding to the survey increased from 19% in 2018 to 24% this year.

August saw the departure of the GEMS Regulator, Michelle Croker, after four years. Michelle made significant contributions during her tenure as the Regulator, including chairing the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Programme on Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment.  The First Assistant Secretary of Energy Security and Efficiency Division in the Department of the Environment and Energy succeeded Michelle as the GEMS Regulator.

In September, the final report from the Independent Review of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (GEMS Act) was released. The report includes the findings and recommendations of the independent review into the GEMS Act that was conducted throughout 2018 and 2019.

In November, we celebrated another significant achievement when Energy Ministers agreed to the Addendum to the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, which is the second stage of a national plan for a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings for Australia. The Addendum provides a suite of initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings in Australia, which include identifying and developing supporting measures such as appliance standards and labelling, financial initiatives and specific measures for vulnerable households.

Another milestone in November, was the approval of the decision RIS by the COAG Energy Council for the introduction of demand response capability requirements for appliances such as air conditioners and electric storage water heaters.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our stakeholders who have worked with us throughout 2019 to accomplish these amazing achievements.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to working with you again in 2020.