By Matthew Henry

CANBERRA: The federal Labor party has proposed to introduce stringent energy efficiency standards for home entertainment appliances such as plasma TVs and home theatre systems if it wins government at the coming federal election.

Labor environment spokesperson, Peter Garrett, said a federal Labor government would mandate energy ratings for home entertainment products if elected, which would see a range of audio visual products subject to similar energy performance ratings as other household appliances including washing machines, dishwashers, dryers and fridges.

"This is a great way to help people save money and help the environment. It’s amazing the Government has been so slow to act," Garrett told the Daily Telegraph.

Labor’s scheme would also see the current 6 star energy rating appliances changed to a 10 star rating system.

According to Garret, household appliances account for around 50 per cent of household greenhouse gas emissions and contribute substantially to an average household energy bill of $250.

Earlier this year, the E3 committee recommended that minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) be introduced for all home entertainment products from October 2008.

The scheme would stipulate maximum energy consumption for an appliance to be eligible for sale in Australia and New Zealand, which would weed out energy-hungry products from retail shelves.