QLD – HENDRY building certifiers advise that installation of inefficient air conditioners in class I and 2 buildings was banned under the Queensland Development Code (QDC) Mandatory Part (MP) 4.1 Sustainable Buildings from September 2009. Inefficient air conditioners are defined as single phase or three-phase vapour-compression models with an energy efficiency rating (EER) of less than 2.9.

The sale of these inefficient models was also banned under the Electricity Regulation 2006. The sales ban was supported by temporary (12-month) exemptions from the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (MRA) (Cth) and the Trans- Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA).

These exemptions expired on 31 August 2009, and to address this issue, Queensland Development Code MP 4.1 “Sustainable buildings” has been amended to extend the installation ban on energy inefficient air conditioners to cover all building cIasses in Queensland. This means that all new and replacement air conditioners installed in Queensland must haw a minimum EER of 2.9.

Extending the installatian ban means that Queensland can continue to reduce greenhouse gas missions and address electricity peak demand until the proposed increase in the national Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for air conditioners comes into effect in October 2011.
New increased MEPS and energy labelling requirements for air-conditioners with a cooling capacity of up to 65 kW were enforced on 1 April 2010 with transitional arrangements commencing in October 2009. These requirements are more stringent than the Queensland standard for split systems but less stringent for the majority of ducted systems. For any installations where the MEPS is lower than the Queensland standard, the Queensland standard will apply.

For example, a 16 kW ducted air-conditioner with a 2.75 tested average EER meets the April 2010 MEPS but would not meet the Queensland standard. This unit can not be installed in Queensland buildings.

Further increases to the MEPS have been proposed from April 2011 and will be considered following the outcomes of a Regulatory Impact Statement. These proposed requirements are more stringent than the Queensland standard for all unit types.