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Reducing water demand

December 15, 2019

Summer is now officially upon us and there is no better time to think about our most precious resource – Water, and some of the ways in which a household can reduce its demand.

One way is to be aware of the water efficiency of the plumbing and water consuming whitegoods products we purchase and install in homes.

Similar to how when we purchase our whitegoods we are now very accustomed to checking the energy start rating, there is also a national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme, WELS for short.

WELS also uses a six start rating system – simply the more stars the more efficient the product. Products regulated under the WELS scheme include plumbing products, such as taps, showers, flow controllers, toilets and urinals and whitegoods, such as clothes washing machines and dishwashers. Regulated products must be registered with the Australian Government and labelled with their water rating information. A typical WELS star rating label looks like this

There are over 22,500 registered products. If products are not registered and labelled, they cannot legally be offered for sale in Australia.

Whilst the WELS scheme is regulated and there are penalties for non-compliance that can be applicable for everyone in the supply chain be they manufacturers, retailers, builders, property developers and installers the positive environmental impact of responsibly managing this most precious resource cannot be understated. In February this year it was reported by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) that in 2017, WELS saved consumers over $1 billion on water and energy bills. It also saved over 112 billion litres of water – enough to fill over 44 000 Olympic swimming pools.

Industry compliance is essential to the credibility and reliability of the WELS scheme as it provides for consumer confidence in the information on the water rating label.

More information regarding WELS and your obligations can be accessed on the Australian Government website Water Rating

HIA has prepared a member Information Sheet to assist members in understanding their obligations for water efficiency labelling, and with particular relevance to the requirements for display homes. Click here to access the HIA Information Sheet titled: Mandatory Water Efficiency Labels