There is currently no regulation in the Cooks for how appliances should be labelled to show how energy-efficient they are.
The Office of the Prime Minister’s Alex Henry, who is overseeing the project, said regulated labels will help consumers decide what to buy.
“There is no regulation in existence. The regulation is to manage the influx of appliances coming into the country, to avoid being a dumping ground (for unregulated appliances),” he said.
“We’re not going to stipulate a minimum (level of energy efficiency). But at least the information is there for the consumer.”
He said energy-efficient appliances may cost more to buy, but they will cost less to run.
Henry said the plan is to adopt the same standards that are already in place in New Zealand and Australia.
The regulations will target washing machines, fridge/freezers, freezers and air conditioners, but it is likely to also include other electrical appliances in the future.
The Office of the Prime Minister is currently looking for a technical writer to draft the regulation.
The project was approved in 2011, and is funded by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Over 50 countries around the world have adopted energy labelling and standards programs, with Fiji the first to do so in the Pacific region.
A 2011 SPC study on appliance labelling and standards showed that it is more cost-effective for the Cook Islands to import energy-efficient refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and lighting than it is to import diesel fuel.