Consumer research

Measuring consumer awareness of the Water Efficiency Labeling and Standards (WELS) scheme helps us understand if we are achieving our objectives.

Our research has been particularly focused on how much consumers:

  • recognise the water rating label
  • use water efficiency information provided through the scheme when buying new products.

WELS scheme effectiveness — Report of survey findings

Publication details

Prepared by Quantum Market Research for the Department of the Environment, 2014

This report details the findings of a consumer survey into the effectiveness of the WELS scheme, which found that consumers actively use water efficiency information when making purchasing decisions.

Key findings:

The majority of consumers (65%) are still ‘very conscious of water saving’, and an additional 30% indicated they were ‘aware of trying to save water, but were not that careful’. No consumers indicated that they believe ‘we have plenty of water, so there is no need for water saving’.

While the drought is perceived to have broken in Australia, the cost of providing water continues to increase. Attitudes of consumers about saving water may have shifted from that of concern for the environment to concern for dollar savings.

Between 2008 and 2014, awareness of the water rating label among consumers surveyed grew from 53% to 87%. Consumers also trust the label — 83% believing the scheme to be either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ credible.

For the specific products tested in this research (including toilets, shower heads, flow reducers/controllers for taps, and taps/spouts), water rating labels were influential in the purchase decision for the majority of consumers.

Influence of the water rating label on purchase decision varies by product. The rating labels were the most influential for consumers purchasing a flow reducer/controller for a tap (81% influenced).

For taps and spouts, although the majority were influenced by the ratings labels (61%), they were less important. Consumers were more likely to consider pricing as well as the way the products look and feel in their homes.


Document Pages File size
WELS Scheme Effectiveness — Report of survey findings PDF 147 4.5 MB
WELS Scheme Effectiveness — Report of survey findings DOCX 147 4.6 MB

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