Review of water efficiency scheme to ensure all is WELS

16 October 2020

A specialist independent reviewer has been appointed to ensure Australia’s national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme is well run and can be optimised to achieve even greater water savings in the future.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the scheme already saves 141GL of water per year which in turn saves Australian householders and businesses over $1.2 billion off their water and energy bills every year.

“Those savings on utility bills can be spent by families and business owners on other priorities, and leave more water available for other uses,” Minister Pitt said.

“For Australian householders and businesses, the benefits are forecasted to continue to increase, so that by 2036 the savings will rise to $2.6 billion per year across Australia.

“This review is important because every drop of water savings the scheme generates reduces costs for families and pressure on our finite water resources.

“This third and scheduled review of the scheme will be undertaken by Allen and Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists who have the necessary expertise in policy, regulation governance and evaluation to make sure administration of this scheme is optimised.

“WELS works by requiring products that are available for sale in Australia like taps, showers, clothes washers, dishwashers and toilets, to be registered and clearly labelled with their water efficiency rating to help consumers make informed choices about the performance of the appliances they buy.

“People deserve to have confidence that the labels are accurate and that the compliance framework underpinning the scheme is doing its job and that we’re striving to improve the scheme’s performance. 

“The reviewers will also provide advice about ways the scheme can better promote efficient and effective water use and water saving technologies.

“The review will be undertaken in line with the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 requirements and report to me before the end of the financial year. 

“Its findings will be even more important as we move towards establishing an international standard based on the Australian regulatory system.

“The reviewers will be talking with stakeholders as part of the review, and businesses and individuals with an interest can provide feedback in an online Have Your Say consultation later this year.”

Visit the waterrating.gov.au website for more information about the review process.